‘Unaffordable’: Adelaide rental prices skyrocket

Rent for Adelaide homes rose by 11 per cent in the past year and tenants now fork out an average $570 a week, prompting warnings about the impact on low-income earners.

Jul 05, 2024, updated Jul 05, 2024
The median rental price in Adelaide is now $570 per week. Photo: AAP

The median rental price in Adelaide is now $570 per week. Photo: AAP

The latest PropTrack Market Insight Report found that rental prices in Adelaide rose by 11.8 per cent over the last financial year, with the median advertised rent on dwellings now $570 per week.

The increase is the second largest of all capital cities in Australia, after Perth where rent prices rose by 18.2 per cent over the last year to hit a median of $650 per week.

According to PropTrack, the most expensive rentals are in Sydney where the median is $740, followed by Perth ($650) and Brisbane ($620).

“The cost of renting an apartment climbed across Australia’s capital city and regional areas over the June quarter, as persistently low vacancies and population growth drove demand for rental properties higher,” PropTrack said.

“Conditions for renters deteriorated further over the June quarter, with six of the eight capital cities experiencing rent growth.”

Shelter SA CEO Alice Clark told InDaily that the 11.8 per cent rise in the price of Adelaide rentals would largely impact low-income households.

“It’d be really hard for people not to know someone in these times who’s struggling with housing. It’s starting to affect more people and I think this is why we’re seeing some more political action on the housing situation,” Clark said.

“A low-income household we would say is an income of $30,000 a year, so over $1000 a fortnight is getting up to 100 per cent of your income.

“So the $570 median price is completely out of reach, completely unaffordable. Probably the worst affected are single-person households. If you’re a couple you’ve got more chance of affording something at that price, but for singles and aged pensioners, people on a disability pension, that is out of reach.”

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Clark said Shelter SA has been advocating for rent controls like those in the Australian Capital Territory where rent increases are aligned with the consumer price index.

“It gives some guidelines to landlords and renters about what they can expect in rental increases in the future, and we have nothing like that here,” she said.

An earlier report from Believe Housing Australia, the housing arm of AnglicareSA, found that of the 1615 private rentals advertised on in South Australia over the weekend of March 16, only 1 per cent were affordable and appropriate for households on income support payments, which equates to 17 homes.

Further, 0.3 per cent of properties were affordable and appropriate for couples on Jobseeker with two children, 0.1 per cent for a single parent of two children on a parenting payment, and just 14.6 per cent were available for a couple with two children on minimum wage on Family Tax Benefit A.

Those on Youth Allowance could not afford any rental properties being advertised that weekend.

Regional SA rents also on the rise

Median rental prices in regional South Ausralia are also increasing, with an 8.3 per cent rise over the past year taking the average to $390 per week.

Clark said the rising cost of renting outside of Adelaide was changing a dynamic whereby “years ago, if you were struggling to find a place to live, moving to the country was a strategy”.

“That’s just not the case anymore,” Clark said.

“Even the regions don’t offer that same affordability that they used to, and we can’t all just move to the country can we? When people have lives and jobs and school, it’s not easy to just pick up and move further out.”

Clark said that though the government had plans for increasing housing stock and extending stamp duty concessions, “there’s not any plan for low-income households or social housing that we need to alleviate this issue”.

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