Families across NSW are in crisis mode as they shell out more than half their weekly income to pay the rent in markets with limited housing supply and soaring prices.
A report commissioned by rental review site RentRabbit found there were 20 suburbs in NSW considered in “desperate” need of more housing, where tenants were in severe rental stress.
Rental or housing stress is defined by a household needing to set aside more than one third of their income to put a roof over their heads.
The Rental Crisis Report showed there were 13 unit or house markets in NSW where renters were forking out 50 per cent or more of their income each week to pay the rent.
Households in a further seven suburbs were parting with 43-48 per cent of their income.
Limited housing supply meant renters had slim pickings when it came to finding something more affordable.
Each of the 20 markets had fewer than four vacant properties for rent, with vacancy rates close to zero.
This meant the vast majority of rentals were filled within three weeks of being listed.
High demand and a shortage of supply meant rents had surged in all the suburbs listed, with 16 experiencing double digit growth in the space of one year.
Of the suburbs, 90 per cent were in regional centres, with most being further than two hours’ drive from Sydney.
This meant tenants needing to move to more affordable housing were limited to a small geographical region in order to avoid changing jobs or schools.
It comes as the Reserve Bank warns the cost of living could surge as high as 7 per cent by the end of the year – more than double the RBA’s target of 2-3 per cent.
Households in the Tweed Valley house market of Banora Point suffered the highest level of rental stress, with tenants spending 64 per cent of their weekly household earnings on rent.
The weekly median rent was up 13 per cent from this time last year, growing from $615 to $695.
The unit market in nearby Tweed Heads South came second on the list following a 20 per cent price growth from $410 to $495 a week.
Households there were spending 62 per cent of their average weekly income on rent, leaving just $303 each week for food, utilities and all other expenses.
South of Sydney, in Ulladulla, house rents had soared close to 18 per cent from $420 to $495, forcing tenants to pay 61 per cent of their average earnings of $813 on rent.
RentRabbit.com.au co-founder Ben Pretty said this constituted a “crisis” for NSW renters.
“There are many suburbs across New South Wales where vacancy rates are very low and
tenants are struggling to find somewhere to live,” he said.
“For affluent tenants in more privileged suburbs, they at least have more options in terms of where they can live, especially as many of them are knowledge workers who can work remotely.”
“But for the many tenants who have low household incomes and who live in
socio-economically disadvantaged areas, they’re really struggling right now and have very
He said while there were “no easy answers,” he hoped the federal and state governments could work together to find a solution to the issue.
Top 20 Rental Crisis Suburbs
Weekly median rent
Rent as share of household income
Tweed Heads South
Albion Park Rail
Source: RentRabbit Rental Crisis Report June 2022.
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