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By Dr. Andrew Wilson

Want to know what’s happening in our rental markets? Look at these stats | My Housing Market Report

key takeaways

Key takeaways

Australia is in an unprecedented rental crisis and there is no end in sight.

Rentals are growing at double digit rates and vacancy rates are at historic lows.

However some markets are strongly outperforming others as the tables below show

We're suffering an unprecedented rental crisis with no end in sight.

Capital city rental markets have continued to report higher rents and fewer vacancies generally over December, ending 2023 with more bad news for tenants.

Want to know what’s happening in our rental markets? Look at these stats | Property Insiders

Adelaide was the top monthly performer with weekly house rent increasing sharply by 4.3%, followed by Perth and Melbourne each up 3.5%, Hobart up 1.8%, and Brisbane higher by 1.7%.

Canberra house rents were steady over the month with Sydney down 1.7% and Darwin falling by 2.1%.

The Sydney housing market  continues to record the highest weekly asking house rents at $760 per week with Hobart still the most affordable, but higher again at $560 per week.

Most capitals continue to report sharp annual increases in house rents, with Perth up 18.2%, Melbourne higher by 18.0%, Adelaide up 14.3%, Sydney higher by 13.9% and Brisbane up 8.2%.

Canberra annual house rents however have now fallen by 4.2% with Darwin down 2.1% and Hobart falling by 1.3% over the year.

Following rises over the previous month, house vacancy rates were lower across the board over December with the exception of Canberra where rates were steady.

Median Weekly Asking Rents December 2023 - HOUSES

City Rent Month Year Vacancy Rate Change
Sydney $760 -1.7% 13.9% 0.8%
Melbourne $590 3.5% 18.0% 0.6%
Brisbane $610 1.7% 8.2% 0.6%
Adelaide $600 4.3% 14.3% 0.3%
Perth $650 3.5% 18.2% 0.3%
Hobart $560 1.8% -1.3% 0.5%
Darwin $683 -2.1% -2.1% 0.7%
Canberra $680 0.0% -4.2% 1.0%

The unit rental market

Unit rents were also generally higher over December with Adelaide the top performer rising sharply by 4.4% followed by Sydney up 2.7% with Hobart higher by 1.5%, Darwin up 0.9% Brisbane up 0.8%, and Perth where unit rents increased by 0.3% over December.

Melbourne rents were steady again, however Canberra unit rents fell 2.0%.

Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide annual unit rents remain sharply higher – up by 26.0%, 25.0%, 22.2%, 16.0%, and 13.1% respectively.

Annual unit rents however are 6.8% lower in Hobart and down 0.9% in Canberra.

Sydney remains the clear leader for weekly unit rents still at $750, with Hobart still the most affordable at $460 per week.

Monthly unit vacancy rates, similar to houses, were lower in all capitals over December compared to the previous month.

Median Weekly Asking Rents December 2023 - UNITS

City Rent Month Year Vacancy Rate Change
Sydney $750 2.7% 25.0% 1.0%
Melbourne $550 0.0% 22.2% 1.4%
Brisbane $630 0.8% 26.0% 0.9%
Adelaide $475 4.4% 13.1% 0.4%
Perth $580 0.3% 16.0% 0.3%
Hobart $460 1.5% -6.8% 0.8%
Darwin $555 0.9% 0.9% 1.9%
Canberra $550 -2.0% -0.9% 1.5%


Rental markets remain generally tight in most capitals for both houses and units, with no relief in sight for tenants who clearly remain under siege from relentless rent increases.

Recently announced government policy initiatives designed to increase rental supply are unlikely to significantly impact markets - particularly in the short to medium term.

Policy considerations should be directed to providing incentives to private sector investors that currently provide a significant proportion of Australia’s housing.

About Dr. Andrew Wilson Dr Andrew Wilson, Chief Economist of is widely regarded as Australia’s leading property economist.

am in the market at the moment in melbournes east and almost every house we are looking at are either staying the same or dropping their prices. avarage across the board is -2% ben

1 reply

MY. How can you call this a rental crisis? For the last 12 years landlords have endured sub-par rents which either fell or remained flat for many years. Rents only started increasing just before COVID-19 hit us when they collapsed up to 30%. Th ...Read full version

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In Perth my worst rental was on the market this weekend for lease. One day 32 Applications. Asking price $480 but accepted an offer of $520. Doesn't sound like a big deal until you look at it like this. Purchased 1998 for $85k and paid $160 per we ...Read full version

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