Canberra’s high rents ‘a black spot’

Canberra is a particularly bad black spot in Australia’s very dark rental affordability picture, and prices are expected to show significant further growth this year, two new reports say.

Australian Property Monitors rental report said rents for Canberra houses rose at the second-fastest rate in the country so far this year.

At the same time Anglicare ACT general manager Jenny Kitchin said the charity’s Rental Affordability Snapshot found Canberra and Queanbeyan was the only major population centre in Australia with no affordable housing for lower-income earners in the private rental market.

”In a very dark picture nationwide, Canberra stands out as particularly bad black spot,” she said.

”It is clear that many low-income families will be falling into the gap between the private rentals and government-run social housing.”

Ms Kitchin said it would be almost impossible for someone on the minimum wage or government benefits to live in a private rental property in Canberra.

It comes as the latest Australian Property Monitors rental report said rents for Canberra houses rose at the second-fastest rate in the country so far this year.

They were up 2.2 per cent to a median $470 a week in the March quarter, taking annual growth to 6.8 per cent the fastest in the country.

The median rent for units rose 2.4 per cent to $430 in the quarter, and by 6.2 per cent over the year.

It compares with quarterly growth of 2.3per cent for units and 0.1 per cent for houses nationally.

Australian Property Monitors economist Andrew Wilson said Canberra’s strong rental growth reflected ongoing high demand and a shortage of available properties.

Renters should prepare for significant growth in rental prices this year, driven by the improving economy and housing shortages.

”However, it is expected that rising rental yields will renew investor interest in the market and may provide some relief for renters in the longer-term,” Dr Wilson said.

Source: Canberra Times


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