CoreLogic quarterly rental review: rents rise | March 2019

The national weekly rents have risen by 1 per cent during the first three months of the year.

Key Findings:

  • Nationally, weekly rents increased by 1.0% over the first quarter of 2019 which was the strongest quarterly rental growth since rents increased by 1.1% over the same quarter in 2018.
  • Rents RiseCapital city rents were 0.9% higher over the quarter while they were -0.1% lower year-on-year while regional market rents were 1.1% higher over the quarter to be 1.8% higher over the past 12 months.
  • The annual change in combined capital city rents is the lowest on record (based on data which is available back to 2005) while annual growth in regional rents has started to accelerate from historic lows.
  • Over the past 12 months, rents have increased in all capital cities except for Sydney and Darwin.
  • Brisbane and Perth are the only two capital cities in which the annual change in rents over the past year was superior to growth over the same period in 2018.
  • Gross rental yields are currently recorded at 4.10% nationally compared to 3.95% at the end of the previous quarter and 3.77% a year ago.
  • Gross rental yields have increased over the past quarter across all capital cities while over the past year they are higher in all cities except Hobart.

In March 2019, rental rates nationally increased by 0.3% which matched the increase over the previous month.

The first three months of the year have bucked the trend seen late last year whereby rents were falling.

It is important to understand that rental markets are seasonal and the first quarter of the year typically sees the strongest rental growth.

As at March 2019, rents nationally were recorded at $436/week with combined capital city rents recorded at $465/week and combined regional market rents recorded at $378/week.

Looking at the change in rents over the month across the capital cities, rents were lower in Darwin and Canberra, they were unchanged in Sydney and higher elsewhere.

Sydney RentDespite recent falls in rental rates, Sydney remains the most expensive capital city rental market with a median rent of $582/week which is $32/week more expensive than Canberra rents ($550/week) which are the second most expensive in the country.

Historically Hobart has been the most affordable capital city rental market however, strong rises in rents over recent years have pushed rental costs well above those in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and now similar to those in Melbourne.

The rental market remains quite mixed however, it is clear that Sydney accounts for a large share of overall renters with annual falls in Sydney leading to a fall in the combined capital city index.

Sydney and Melbourne are seeing the impact of such significant demand from investors over recent years along with a substantial rampup in new housing (largely apartment) supply, much of which was purchased by investors.

Darwin rents have been falling for many years and they continue to decline.

The past year has seen a change of direction for both the Brisbane and Perth rental markets, following a number of years of declines rents are now climbing again.

Elsewhere rental rates are continuing to rise however, the rate of growth has slowed compared to a year ago.

Change in rents Yields
Region Median rent Month Quarter 12 months Current 12 months ago
Sydney $582 0.0% 0.5% -3.1% 3.5% 3.2%
Melbourne $454 0.4% 1.0% 2.1% 3.6% 3.1%
Brisbane $436 0.1% 0.8% 1.4% 4.5% 4.4%
Adelaide $386 0.1% 0.8% 1.2% 4.4% 4.4%
Perth $385 0.6% 1.8% 2.1% 4.3% 3.9%
Hobart $453 1.6% 3.6% 5.4% 5.1% 5.1%
Darwin $458 -0.2% -0.3% -5.7% 6.0% 5.9%
Canberra $550 -0.1% 1.5% 3.6% 4.9% 4.7%
Combined capitals $465 0.2% 0.9% -0.1% 3.8% 3.5%
Combined regionals $378 0.4% 1.1% 1.8% 5.1% 4.9%
National $436 0.3% 1.0% 0.4% 4.1% 3.8%

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Tim Lawless


Tim heads up the Core Logic RP Data research and analytics team, analysing real estate markets, demographics and economic trends across Australia. Visit

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