New Implied Gross Rental Index for Property Investors – Louis Christopher

SQM Research has just released today a new index measuring implied gross rental yields which should of value to all those interested in property investment.

This index is a measurement of gross rental yields. That is – rents before costs such as agent fees, council fees, maintenance, taxes etc divided into the median sale price for the locality.

When you notice rental yields moving lower, it is a sign that either dwelling prices are rising faster than rents or that rents are falling to compared to dwelling prices. In other words, the gap between house prices and rents has increased. Vice versa, when rental yields are rising, it means the gap between house prices and rents is narrowing.

So what do the yields show?

Well, at the national level the data reveals that gross rental yields for houses at about 4.5% while for units it is 5.5%.


There has been a moderate decline in yields for houses over the course of this year, however unit rental yields have remained stable.

Sydney has been recording steadily declining rental yields over the course of the year and that is obviously due to the rapid rise in dwelling prices in recent times.

So rental yields for houses is about 3.7%, while for Sydney units it is about 4.5%. They are actually very tight yields and would suggest to us that in Sydney at least, its cheaper to rent right now than to buy when just considering year one cash flows.


Darwin, meanwhile has the highest capital city yields with both houses and units recording a 5.5% gross rental yield.

Yields in Darwin may well rise in the future as right now we are recording rising rents for that city, while it seems dwelling prices have stalled of late.


On a postcode level,  we have discovered  some particularly interesting results – for example postcode 4217 (Surfers Paradise in Queensland) –


Overall, it is a relatively young series we have released today.

The index only goes back to 2009, so in effect it have only captured one cycle in the housing market. But nevertheless it does give us all an indicator of market movement and value.

I hope you like the development. You can check our our new index by clicking HERE



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Louis Christopher


Louis is recognised as one of Australia’s most respected and impartial research property analyst. He has extensive knowledge and experience of property and is regularly quoted in the media on his insights and is director of SQM Research.

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