‘Unprecedented level of rental stress’ in SA as new housing project breaks ground

A report has found that more than half of South Australian suburbs are experiencing “extreme rental hardship”, as work starts on a social housing project in Adelaide’s south. See how your suburb scored.

Jan 17, 2024, updated Jan 31, 2024
An image of homes to be built at Oaklands Green. Photo: Junction.

An image of homes to be built at Oaklands Green. Photo: Junction.

Suburbtrends’ latest “Rental Pain Index” found Christie Downs in South Australia was among the hardest hit areas in the nation for rental distress, with more than 58 per cent of suburbs in the state experiencing “extreme rental hardship”.

The report’s authors said the latest report for January 2024 “paints a dire picture of the Australian rental market”, and indicated a deepening crisis nationwide.

The Rental Pain Index is on a scale of one to 100 – with the top end signifying the highest level of rental distress. Several suburbs in metropolitan Adelaide came close to that figure, with the likes of Warradale, Morphett Vale, Christie Downs and Royal Park all recording a 99.

Hover your mouse over your suburb to see how it scored on the Rental Pain Index. To zoom in, hold the ‘command’ button and scroll. On mobile, pinch to zoom and double tap the suburb to view the score.

“Our January report shows an unprecedented level of rental stress,” Suburbtrends founder Kent Lardner said.

“In states like Queensland and South Australia, over 58 per cent of suburb groups are experiencing extreme rental hardship. This situation is putting immense financial pressure on Australian renters.”

Lardner said the suburbs hardest hit, particularly those that recorded a 99 on the Index, were impacted by “extremely low vacancy rates, exacerbating the situation”.

Rental affordability across those at the top end of the scale was another issue according to Lardner, with rent prices often exceeding 35 per cent of income for residents.

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“This is not an isolated issue; it’s a nationwide problem that requires immediate and comprehensive policy action,” Lardner said.

“The data calls for urgent, multifaceted policy solutions to address the soaring rental costs and limited housing availability. It’s time to turn these insights into action.”

The report’s release comes as the state government breaks ground on a new social housing project at Oaklands Park in partnership with the community sector.

Led by SA developer Housing Renewal Australia Oaklands Park, the Oaklands Park Renewal Project will turn a 16.5-hectare site near the Seaford train line into a social housing development.

Oaklands Green will include 235 new social housing lots to be managed by community housing provider Junction.

The state government today announced Rivergum Homes has commenced construction on the first 28 houses.

More than 450 market-ready homes will be also built on the site, with at least 15 per cent sold via the government’s HomeSeeker initiative at an “affordable price point”.

“Oaklands Park renewal is part of building a strong community while offering choice and diversity in housing. We are modernising affordable and social housing neighbourhoods,” Human Services Minister Nat Cook said.

“This project has been a long time in the making and much anticipated. To be part of delivering this during a time of housing shortage is both satisfying and rewarding.”

Boothby MP Louise Miller-Frost said the development would provide affordable housing solutions for the southern suburbs “for years to come”.

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