PROPTRACK’S latest insight into the rental market put a spotlight on the Hobart suburbs where rents have grown the most.
Twenty Hobart suburbs were named with at least a 10 per cent annual increase, right up to 41 per cent.
Turning attention to properties outside of the capital city, unfortunately, does not come with better news for renters.
Figures for house rents in 20 regional Tasmanian areas showed year-on-year median rent growth ranging from 19.18 per cent (Deloraine) up to 32.21 per cent (Perth).
Compared to one year ago, rents in Montello grew by 30.77 per cent, Ravenswood, St Helens, and Mayfield (each 29.63 per cent), Shorewell (25.93 per cent), plus Penguin and Queenstown (25 per cent each).
Of the 20 suburbs, Prospect Vale rents were the highest at $500 per week alongside Perth ($493), South Launceston ($460), and Longford and St Leonards ($450 each).
In the unit market, Prospect topped the chart with a 30 per cent annual change in rent.
Trevallyn, East Launceston, Deloraine, and South Launceston units were in the Top 5 with growth between 23.44 per cent and 29.63 per cent.
Launceston was the most expensive at $400 per week. South Launceston was just behind at $395 and Prospect $390.
TasCOSS chief executive Adrienne Picone described Tasmania’s housing affordability as something that “used to be a relative advantage” over mainland states.
“In years gone by, you could have made the case that our lower incomes were justified by a lower cost of living. But these days are long gone,” she said.
“The reality now, as confirmed by the recent 2021 Census data, is Tasmanian median household incomes are not only significantly less than the mainland, but rents in some parts of Tasmania are higher as a proportion of income than in many parts of the country.
“The Census also confirms that even those who are able to secure a rental in the incredibly tight rental market are significantly disadvantaged compared to those who own their own home.”
Ms Picone said households who rent in Tasmania are more likely to be experiencing housing stress compared to mortgage holders; and that the rates of housing stress experienced by Tasmanian renters is higher than the national average.
She said the severely low vacancy rate in Hobart and surrounds, and out-of-reach rents, has a knock-on effect with many Tasmanians joining the social housing wait list due to lack of alternatives.
“This is a symptom of the problem we’re facing with inadequate housing stock to meet demand,” Ms Picone said.
“Concerningly, research by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that since 2014, the number of social housing dwellings has increased by a measly 6 per cent, while the social housing wait list has grown by a staggering 114 per cent.
“Renters continue to be severely disadvantaged by the policy responses at a state and federal level, and on the back of the RBA’s third rate rise in as many months, we can only expect rents to rise further.
“To combat this, we need to raise the rate of income support payments, increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance by at least 50 per cent, and invest heavily in a social and affordable housing pipeline to alleviate pressure on the housing market.
“We must acknowledge the reality that many Tasmanians simply will not be able to buy their own home in the near future and work towards improving the rights of renters as an urgent policy objective.
“The Tasmanian Government should follow the lead of other Australian jurisdictions and explore how the financial stability of Tasmanian renters can be better protected.
“This could include amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act to provide better protections against rent hikes, as well as the introduction of measures to improve rental properties in Tasmania, such as minimum energy efficiency standards for all rental properties.”
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