Sydney and Melbourne weakest for gross rental yields: Domain Rental Report

Sydney and Melbourne weakest for gross rental yields: Domain Rental Report
Sydney and Melbourne weakest for gross rental yields: Domain Rental Report

Rental prices varied across Australia’s capital cities over the March quarter, with most showing either increased or flattened growth, according to Domain’s Quarterly Rental Report.

Sydney and Brisbane house rents, and Perth unit rents remained flat over the quarter.

Only Canberra house rents, and Darwin house and unit rents recorded a decline over the quarter.

“Stricter lending standards and varied economic activity within each capital city continued to produce different market conditions over the March quarter,” said Domain's Dr Nicola Powell.

“Hobart was by far the stand-out city this quarter, delivering the only double-digit annual growth for both house and unit rents.

"Looking forward, as tighter lending conditions and serviceability requirements impact investors’ ability to secure finance, they may set their sights on more affordable markets.

"Regardless of where they fall on the affordability spectrum, tenants in most capital cities continue to face highly competitive rental markets.”

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Sydney and Melbourne weakest for gross rental yields: Domain Rental Report

Gross rental yields for units increased in every capital city over the March quarter. Canberra was the only capital city to record a decline in gross rental yields for houses. Hobart was the top performer for house rental yields at 5.15%, followed closely by Darwin at 5.06%. Darwin and Canberra were the top performers for unit rental yields, at 5.89% and 5.84% respectively.

Sydney and Melbourne continued to deliver the weakest gross rental yields for houses and units. 

Capital city markets 

  • Sydney

Median weekly house rents in Sydney remained stable over the March quarter at $550 per week. House rents also remained flat over the year. 

Sydney unit asking rents increased 0.9% over the March quarter to $550 per week. While the final quarter of 2017 saw a rental price decline for units, median weekly unit rents are now back on par with house rents, a trend that first appeared in 2017. Sydney continued to record the highest weekly median house and unit rents of all capital cities over the March quarter.

“Sydney’s unit rental growth over the March quarter is particularly noteworthy, although it may be a result of the season as students and professionals relocate for work and study. It may also indicate that some prospective investors are struggling to settle on off-the-plan purchases under current lending requirements.

“Stricter lending standards could impact the market further, resulting in decreased investor activity and a tighter rental market. However, with building completions tracking to record highs, rental pressure may begin to alleviate in the coming months if the lending criteria is met by investors,” said Domain Data Scientist, Dr Nicola Powell.

  • Melbourne

Melbourne’s rental conditions continued to strengthen during the first quarter of 2018, with median weekly house and unit rents reaching record highs. 

House rents increased 1.2% over the March quarter to reach $430 per week, an annual increase of 2.4%. Following two consecutive quarters of unchanged growth, median unit rents in Melbourne increased 2.5% over the quarter and 3.8% over the year, reaching $410 per week. 

“Melbourne’s rental market continues to climb, likely a result of the city’s rapid population growth helping to create a fiercely competitive rental market. Although the value of building completions has been at record highs over the past few years, the faster than anticipated population growth has helped to absorb available rental supply. If investor activity continues to retreat in line with tightening lending requirements rental stock may further deplete,” said Domain Data Scientist, Dr Nicola Powell.

  • Brisbane

Median weekly house rents in Brisbane remained stable over the March quarter at $400 per week, a 1.2% year-on-year decline. Despite the lack of growth, Brisbane’s house rents delivered the third highest gross rental yields of all Australian capitals over the March quarter.

Unit rents in the Sunshine State’s capital improved for the first time in a year, jumping 1.4% over the March quarter to reach a weekly median of $375.

“Brisbane remains a tenant’s market, and the city’s increased unit stock is providing tenants with greater choice. This means tenants are likely to shift toward newer apartments and use bargaining power to negotiate lower rents. The added unit stock has had a strong impact on both unit and house rental conditions, as rental prices fall year-on-year.

“While all signs point to a decrease in investor activity in the coming months, Queensland has the highest internal population flow in Australia, which may improve rental demand and help to turn the tide in favour of investors,” said Domain Data Scientist, Dr Nicola Powell.

  • Canberra

Following a record high achieved last quarter, Canberra’s median weekly house rents fell 1.9% to $530 over the March quarter, the first negative quarterly movement since September 2014. However, median house rents in Canberra recorded a 6% year-on-year increase, the second highest annual growth of all capital cities.

Weekly unit rents in Canberra increased for the second consecutive quarter, reaching a median of $450, reflecting a 4.7% quarterly jump and an annual increase of 5.9%. Unit rents in Canberra achieved the highest gain of all capital cities over the quarter, and are now back on par with the city’s all-time high achieved in December 2011.

“Units are the biggest sector of Canberra’s rental market, and the drop in house rents over the March quarter may be a reflection of the type and quality of rental stock leased in Canberra during the first quarter of the year.

“Despite booming development activity, Canberra’s annual house and unit rental price movements have been on the incline since 2015, suggesting weakened investor activity and increased demand in the region. It remains to be seen whether rates and land tax increases, coupled with changes in lending standards and serviceability, will further tighten Canberra’s rental market this year,” said Domain Data Scientist, Dr Nicola Powell.

Sydney and Melbourne weakest for gross rental yields: Domain Rental Report

  • Hobart

Median house rents in Hobart reached a record high of $420 per week, a 6.3% increase over the quarter and a remarkable 15.1% year-on-year growth. This reflects Hobart’s highest annual growth on record for houses, as well as the highest annual increase of all Australian capitals this quarter.

Likewise, Hobart’s unit rents also reached a record high median over the quarter, jumping 2.9% to reach $350 per week. Annually, median weekly unit rents in Hobart spiked 14.8%, the strongest annual performance of all capital cities. Hobart was the only capital city to deliver double-digit annual growth for both houses and units.

“Surging population growth across Tasmania has driven strong economic performance in Hobart and contributed to another impressive quarter of rental market activity. Annually, unit rents in the Tasmanian capital have been on the uptick since December 2013, and median house rents are now only $10 behind Melbourne.

“Further rental growth in Hobart is dependent on a rise in supply, as recent building approvals and affordable housing proposals offered by the Tasmanian government start to take shape. The availability of affordable rental stock is key to loosening Hobart’s rental market,” said Domain Data Scientist, Dr Nicola Powell.

  • Perth

The median weekly house rent in Perth grew 1.4% to $355 over the March quarter, marking the first quarterly growth in almost five years. However, house rents in Perth fell 4.1% year-on-year and have continued to decline annually since 2014, although the rate of fall has eased.

Weekly unit rents in Perth remained flat over the quarter and over the year, sitting at a median of $300 per week. This follows four consecutive quarters of no price movement for the Western Australian capital. 

“Following a prolonged period of price declines and a rise in listings, the rental market in Perth is showing signs of stability. 

“Perth remains the most affordable rental market for houses and one of the most affordable rental markets for units, and its recent rise in gross rental yields may start to entice investor activity in the coming months,” said Domain Data Scientist, Dr Nicola Powell. 

  • Adelaide

Following two quarters of consecutive growth, median house rents in Adelaide jumped 1.4% over the March quarter to $375 per week, a record high in the South Australian capital. This reflects an annual increase of 4.2%.

Weekly unit rents reached $300 for the first time over the March quarter, following a quarterly and annual increase of 1.7%.

“Adelaide continues to show consistent rental market growth over the March quarter. While economic conditions in Adelaide are softer than other markets, the affordability and gross yield potential may entice investor activity in 2018,” said Domain Data Scientist, Dr Nicola Powell. 

  • Darwin

The median weekly rental price for houses in Darwin fell 3.6% both over the March quarter and over the year, dropping to $530. Despite the decline, weekly house rents in Darwin are the second highest of all capital cities after Sydney, and on par with Canberra.

Weekly unit asking rents in Darwin also decreased over the March quarter, falling 1.2% to $410, a 2.4% annual decline. 

“As in previous quarters, Darwin’s rental market continues to deliver strong yields for both houses and units, with Darwin’s unit market yields the highest of all capital cities this quarter.

“Rental stabilisation depends on the overall economic health of the region. Darwin’s rental market continues to be affected by the local economy, shifts in investments, and population changes, which is reflected in the capital city’s decline in median rental price,” said Domain Data Scientist, Dr Nicola Powell.

Sydney and Melbourne weakest for gross rental yields: Domain Rental Report

 

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