Cost of renting continues to rise in Australia
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Cost of renting continues to rise in Australia

Tight rental markets in Australia’s capitals fuel further price increases, new data reveals

Wed, Apr 5, 2023 10:28amGrey Clock 1 min

The cost of renting in Australia is continuing to climb according to new data released today.

PropTrack’s Market Insight report reveals a significant increase for all dwellings over the first quarter of 2023, up 2 percent to a median of $500 per week.

National figures reveal house rents have increased to a median of $530 per week while weekly rent on units now sits at $480. That represents a year-on-year increase of 10.4 percent for houses and 11.1 percent for units.

Unsurprisingly, renters in Australia’s capitals were hardest hit, up 4 percent on last quarter and 13 percent higher year on year. The ACT and regional South Australia were the only areas where rents remained steady over the past quarter.

The data follows on from yesterday’s announcement by the RBA not to increase interest rates, the first time it has decided to pause an increase in the cash rate since May 2022. Research released by the RBA last month in its Renters, Rent Inflation and Renter Stress report suggested there was little relief in sight for renters battling higher levels of rent inflation. While the rental market has traditionally been dominated by younger people, the RBA research found that that is no longer the case.

“Renting has always been more common among younger households; around half of all heads of renter households are between 25 and 44 years of age,” the RBA report said. “However, the share of older households renting has risen over time, and single older women are the fastest growing group in public housing.”

Author of the PropTrack report, senior economist Paul Ryan, said while regional growth has slowed following significant growth during COVID, conditions for renters remain ‘extremely tight’, particularly in capital cities. This is expected to continue to drive rents higher in the coming months. 


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Wild cities and concrete corridors: How AI is reimagining the landscape

A new AI-driven account by leading landscape architect Jon Hazelwood pushes the boundaries on the role of ‘complex nature’ in the future of our cities

By Robyn Willis
Wed, Dec 6, 2023 2 min

Drifts of ground cover plants and wildflowers along the steps of the Sydney Opera House, traffic obscured by meadow-like planting and kangaroos pausing on city streets.

This is the way our cities could be, as imagined by landscape architect Jon Hazelwood, principal at multi-disciplinary architectural firm Hassell. He has been exploring the possibilities of rewilding urban spaces using AI for his Instagram account, Naturopolis_ai with visually arresting outcomes.

“It took me a few weeks to get interesting results,” he said. “I really like the ephemeral nature of the images — you will never see it again and none of those plants are real. 

“The AI engine makes an approximation of a grevillea.”

Hazelwood chose some of the most iconic locations in Australia, including the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, as well as international cities such as Paris and London, to demonstrate the impact of untamed green spaces on streetscapes, plazas and public space.

He said he hopes to provoke a conversation about the artificial separation between our cities and the broader environment, exploring ways to break down the barriers and promote biodiversity.

“A lot of the planning (for public spaces) is very limited,” Hazelwood said. “There are 110,000 species of plants in Australia and we probably use about 12 in our (public) planting schemes. 

“Often it’s for practical reasons because they’re tough and drought tolerant — but it’s not the whole story.”

Hazelwood pointed to the work of UK landscape architect Prof Nigel Dunnett, who has championed wild garden design in urban spaces. He has drawn interest in recent years for his work transforming the brutalist apartment block at the Barbican in London into a meadow-like environment with diverse plantings of grasses and perennials.

Hazelwood said it is this kind of ‘complex nature’ that is required for cities to thrive into the future, but it can be hard to convince planners and developers of the benefits.

“We have been doing a lot of work on how we get complex nature because complexity of species drives biodiversity,” he said. 

“But when we try to propose the space the questions are: how are we going to maintain it? Where is the lawn?

“A lot of our work is demonstrating you can get those things and still provide a complex environment.” 

At the moment, Hassell together with the University of Melbourne is trialling options at the Hills Showground Metro Station in Sydney, where the remaining ground level planting has been replaced with more than 100 different species of plants and flowers to encourage diversity without the need for regular maintenance. But more needs to be done, Hazelwood said.

“It needs bottom-up change,” he said. ““There is work being done at government level around nature positive cities, but equally there needs to be changes in the range of plants that nurseries grow, and in the way our city landscapes are maintained and managed.”

And there’s no AI option for that. 


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