Rents continue to increase across the metropolitan property market, while the number of tenants walking out on their leases to find cheaper accommodation is starting to climb, new research says.
Figures released today by the Real Estate Institute of Australia showed median rents climbed by $10 per week in the three months to the end of July, hitting $440 per week.
Median rent for houses came in at $450/week and units at $420/week.
The stats showed the metropolitan area vacancy rate at 1.9 per cent, down around a third from equilibrium figures, REIWA president David Airey said.
Mr Airey said traditionally vacancy rates eased during the winter months, but this has not been the case in 2012.
The statistics showed 2,440 rental properties on the market, down from a peak of 3,708 in July last year.
“As the number of rental properties diminish rents are being pushed up,” Mr Airey said. “It’s a classic case of supply and demand being driven by population growth and weak investor activity.”
Mr Airey said as the market has tightened, a higher than usual number of people have been breaking leases to get into more affordable accommodation.
“I can’t see this rental situation changing in the short-term, particularly given that the market tends to pick up in spring,” he said.
“The bottom line is that our population growth is higher than the rest of the country and everyone needs somewhere to live.
“Hopefully the strong first homebuyer activity will see many current renters moving into a home of their own in coming months, freeing up rental stock and helping to ease the vacancy rate.”