Weekly rents have continued to fall over the past year: Cameron Kusher

Weekly rents have continued to fall over the past year: Cameron Kusher
Weekly rents have continued to fall over the past year: Cameron Kusher

Based on the CoreLogic May monthly rental review released today, while rents increased slightly by 0.1 percent in April, overall, capital city rental rates edged lower, falling 0.2percent over the past 12 months.

Rental rates are currently $490/week for houses and $467/week for units across combined capital cities;

Five of the eight capital cities saw a modest rise in rents over the past twelve months, including Sydney (1.4 percent), Melbourne (1.7 percent), Adelaide (0.5 percent), Hobart (1.1 percent) and Canberra (2.5 percent); 

Perth (-8.9 percent) and Darwin (-12.6 percent) experienced large drops in rents & have collectively pulled the combined capital average lower; 

Brisbane rents dropped by -0.6 percent.

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Weekly rents have continued to fall over the past year: Cameron Kusher

We anticipate that the weakness in the rental market will persist over the year and rents will continue to fall over the coming months. The annual change in rental rates continues to be at its slowest pace since before 1996.

At the same time last year, rental rates increased by 1.7 percent which indicates a sharp slowdown in rental growth over the past year.

Factors contributing to a slowing in rental growth include falling real wages, excess rental supply in certain areas and lower rates of population growth - all of which have impacted on demand for rental accommodation.

With dwelling approvals at recent record highs and construction activity set to peak over the next 24 months, accompanied by many new properties still to settle, we anticipate that the weak rental market conditions will persist with rental growth continuing to slow and, or, fall in most capital cities.

Based on current market conditions, landlords won’t be in a position to lift rental rates and may actually need to reduce rents in order to keep their tenants. We see renters as holding a stronger negotiation position and where they now have the potential to upgrade into higher grades of accommodation for a similar, or lower rents.

Canberra is the only capital city where the annual rental change is currently stronger than it was a year ago. Mr Kusher said this highlights the weakness in rental market conditions is being felt across all other capital city markets.

With rental rates increasing in some cities in April, rates in Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart are at record highs. In all remaining cities, rental rates are now below their highs with the declines recorded respectively in: -0.1 percent in Melbourne, -0.8 percent in Brisbane, -13.7 percent in Perth, -17.3 percent in Darwin and -5.4 percent in Canberra.

The results show that as rental changes outpace home value changes, gross rental yields have trended lower and have hit record lows of 3.3 percent for houses and 4.2 percent for units.

In our two largest capital cities, we’ve seen rental yields move to record lows of 3.1 percent for houses and 4.0 percent for units in Sydney and in Melbourne, rental yields are at a record low 2.9 percent for houses and 4.0 percent for units.

With home values continuing to grow and rental markets expected to soften further, don’t be surprised if we see a further compression of gross rental yields over the coming months.

Cameron Kusher is research analyst for CoreLogic RP Data. You can contact him here.

Cameron Kusher

Cameron Kusher

Cameron Kusher is senior research analyst at CoreLogic RP Data.

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