Australian rent prices hit new record as homelessness soars

Australians are paying a new weekly record of $601 in rent, amid an alarming surge in demand for homelessness services.

Jan 23, 2024, updated Jan 31, 2024
Photo: AAP

Photo: AAP

Shocking data released by CoreLogic has revealed the soaring cost of housing across the country, as renters faced a median cost of $31,252 a year to keep a roof over their heads.

Rent has jumped by a median of $164 to $601 per week in December 2023, from $437 per week in August 2020.

Sydney has topped the market as the most expensive city to rent in, setting people back $745 per week.

Canberra followed in second place at $651 per week, and Perth ranked third as renters forked out $630 per week.

Brisbane recorded the fourth highest weekly rental price at $627, with Darwin coming in fifth at $611 per week.

Melbourne and Adelaide were tied at $565 per week.

Hobart was the cheapest capital city to rent in, with a median price of $535 per week.

The portion of gross median household income needed to pay for rent surged from 26.7 per cent of income in March 2020 to almost a third in September last year.

“The reduction in social housing supply as a portion of all dwellings over the decades has placed more pressure on the private rental market, as has a declining rate of home ownership,” CoreLogic’s report says.

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Meanwhile, the  Productivity Commission’s annual report on government services shows the number of people leaving homelessness support and falling into rough sleeping has jumped by almost a quarter.

Requests for accommodation have risen, and 57,519 people have been identified as needing shelter but not provided with it.

Homelessness Australia has urged Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to support people unable to afford private housing as Labor considers a cost of living package.

“Huge swathes of Australians have been absolutely crunched by the housing crisis,” the statement reads.

“Providers are being asked to make impossible choices, like turning away a teenager fleeing an abusive home because a mum with young kids has also walked through the door.

“This is traumatic for everyone and it shouldn’t be happening in a wealthy nation like Australia.”

Homelessness Australia estimates an extra $450 million is needed to respond to the crisis.

The federal government’s $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund and national housing accord will deliver 40,000 social and affordable rental homes.


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