Report highlights severe rental stress across 20 NSW suburbs

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.

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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.

Renters are forking out close to two-thirds their income 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.

A rental crisis has emerged in NSW.

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.

Several parts of the Tweed Valley have seen price increases over the past year.

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.

Renters are paying about 64 per cent of their income on rent in Banora Point.

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.

RentRabbit co-founder Ben Pretty.

“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

few options.”

Renters are facing housing stress as the cost of energy and groceries soar.

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

Rank
Suburb
Postcode
Property type
Weekly median rent
Rent as share of household income

1
Banora Point
2486
House
$695
64%

2
Tweed Heads South
2486
Unit
$495
62%

3
Nambucca Heads
2447
House
$450
61%

4
Ulladulla
2539
House
$495
61%

5
Maclean
2463
House
$460
56%

6
West Kempsey
2440
House
$410
54%

7
Wauchope
2446
House
$490
53%

8
Unanderra
2526
House
$500
53%

9
Gateshead
2290
House
$480
52%

10
Corrimal
2518
House
$625
51%

11
Belmont
2280
House
$520
50%

12
Barrack Heights
2528
House
$540
50%

13
East Lismore
2480
House
$495
50%

14
Casino
2470
House
$420
48%

15
Bass Hill
2197
House
$580
47%

16
Condell Park
2200
House
$650
47%

17
Tenterfield
2372
House
$365
46%

18
Albion Park Rail
2527
House
$525
44%

19
Cessnock
2325
House
$430
43%

20
Oak Flats
2529
House
$550
43%

Source: RentRabbit Rental Crisis Report June 2022.

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