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Jun 7th, 2024

Where Have All the Affordable Rentals Gone?

After the pandemic, this is the first time that rental property prices have dropped to $400 a week, which is about 10.4 % of the overall percentage in the last week of April 2024 compared to April 2023, when it was 15.5%. It became noticeable after the pandemic, which was 43.2% pre-pandemic.

Capital cities in Australia are making more noise because of dire situations. Rental rates in these areas have dropped to 5.9%, compared to 10.6% a year ago at the same time of the year. When talking about capital cities, Sydney can’t be left behind. It saw 3.8% as a new costing level of less than $400 a week, compared to 22.7% as of March 2020. 

Melbourne has also experienced a spike in rental scarcity, following Sydney. Just 7% of properties are rented against less than $400 per week, as opposed to 38.7% at the start of the epidemic.

This trend is mirrored in Brisbane, where the share of affordable rental properties has dropped from 49.2% in March 2020 to just 7.8% in April 2024. 

This decrease in affordable rental properties came to the surface due to the high demand for rentals and the shortage of available units. Thus, the decline creates a rental crisis as tenants face challenges acquiring affordable and desirable houses and a fierce shortage of alternatives.

Adelaide and Perth are also in the lane of witnessing significant declines in affordable rentals. Just 9.5% of rentals are priced under $400 a week. Which is a big decrease from the 59.0% recorded in March 2020. Something similar was seen in Perth, which has an even lower percentage of rentals. Only 5.6% of rentals are available under $400 compared to 61.5% at the beginning of the pandemic.

These figures reflect a significant nationwide decline in available and affordable rentals, seemingly worsening due to limited supply and a dearth of new listings. 

Although the trend in Darwin and Hobart has been set higher compared to other cities – 10.9 & 10.7, respectively – recent years have been tough for both cities as well. 

The alarming point is the Australian Capital Territory having the lowest percentage of rentals available, which is 2.1% of advertised houses under $400 per week. 

Not only the capitals but also regional areas, including New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland, and Victoria, are in the loop; the weekly rental unit count under $400 has significantly decreased. 

Tenants now face tough circumstances due to the ongoing lack of available rentals and high demand, especially lower-income households that find it impossible to afford any rent. The trend of fewer reasonably priced rentals is anticipated to continue in the absence of an increase in the supply of rental accommodation, which will put more strain on the finances of many Australian renters.


Since affordable rental properties in Australia have decreased significantly post-pandemic. The availability of rentals under $400 has sharply declined from the existing pre-pandemic levels in Australia. With noticeable declines in capital cities like Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide see a major reduction in affordable rentals.

Australia still has slightly better options in Hobart and Darwin, with fewer challenges compared to others. This shortage has created a rental crisis affecting households and lower-income individuals. With this trend continuing in previous months, it is expected that it will further strain the financial situation of Australian renters.