Inner-Melbourne Rents Up More Than 30%
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Inner-Melbourne Rents Up More Than 30%

The gap between house and unit rents is tightening across the country.

By Kanebridge News
Wed, Jul 6, 2022 1:36pmGrey Clock 2 min

While the tightening grip of a rising rental market is not new, the rate of the pricing surge for apartment rents continues, up 10% nationwide in the 12 months to June. It marks the first double-digit growth for the sector according to the latest data from CoreLogic.

Inner-city apartments across Melbourne and Sydney led the biggest rental gains as West Melbourne, Docklands and Southbank ascended by more than 31%.

Sydney also saw the median rents for apartments in Ultimo, Zetland and Haymarket jump sharply by 19.4%, 17.2% and 18.7% respectively.

Apartment rents outperform houses nationwide over the past three months by 3.5% and 2.7% respectively as tenants seek out affordable options according to CoreLogic research analyst Kaytlin Ezzy.

“Rental demand across the medium and higher density segment has surged throughout the first half of the year, partially driven by worsening affordability in the house sector,” Ms Ezzy said.

“Since March 2020 house rental values have increased at nearly twice the rate of unit rental values with the gap blowing out to 13.5 per cent in December 2021.

“It’s likely the gap in rental values will narrow further as rental demand continues to shift towards relatively more affordable higher density properties.”

Rental prices rose across all capital cities in the latest quarter and year on year and are tipped to continue to rise as demand continues. Median rents for Sydney houses rose by 2.5% and units by 3.7% over the quarter. This is compared to house rents climbing by 9/3% and units by 10.3% in the past 12 months.

Melbourne saw its median house rent lift by 2.4% and units by 3.7% in the past three months and house rents 5.2% and 10.9% for units in the past 12 months. Adelaide saw the country’s largest rental rises with houses up 4.4% and units up 3.9% over the last quarter.

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House values continued to fall last month, but the pace of decline has slowed, CoreLogic reports.

In signs that the RBA’s aggressive approach to monetary policy is making an impact, CoreLogic’s Home Value Index reveals national dwelling values fell -1.0 percent in November, marking the smallest monthly decline since June.

The drop represents a -7.0 percent decline – or about $53,400 –  since the peak value recorded in April 2022. Research director at CoreLogic, Tim Lawless, said the Sydney and Melbourne markets are leading the way, with the capital cities experiencing the most significant falls. But it’s not all bad news for homeowners.

“Three months ago, Sydney housing values were falling at the monthly rate of -2.3 percent,” he said. “That has now reduced by a full percentage point to a decline of -1.3 percent in November.  In July, Melbourne home values were down -1.5 percent over the month, with the monthly decline almost halving last month to -0.8%.”

The rate of decline has also slowed in the smaller capitals, he said.  

“Potentially we are seeing the initial uncertainty around buying in a higher interest rate environment wearing off, while persistently low advertised stock levels have likely contributed to this trend towards smaller value falls,” Mr Lawless said. “However, it’s fair to say housing risk remains skewed to the downside while interest rates are still rising and household balance sheets become more thinly stretched.” 

The RBA has raised the cash rate from 0.10 in April  to 2.85 in November. The board is due to meet again next week, with most experts still predicting a further increase in the cash rate of 25 basis points despite the fall in house values.

Mr Lawless said if interest rates continue to increase, there is potential for declines to ‘reaccelerate’.

“Next year will be a particular test of serviceability and housing market stability, as the record-low fixed rate terms secured in 2021 start to expire,” Mr Lawless said.

Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week also reveal a slowdown in the rate of inflation last month, as higher mortgage repayments and cost of living pressures bite into household budgets.

However, ABS data reveals ongoing labour shortages and high levels of construction continues to fuel higher prices for new housing, although the rate of price growth eased in September and October. 

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