Low and moderate-income Australian households are still facing moderate to extreme rental stress nationwide, according to the latest release of the Rental Affordability Index (RAI).

Key results of the RAI:

  • There is currently no affordable rental housing in Australia for single pensioners, people on JobSeeker, pensioner couples and single part-time working parents also on benefits, apart from in regional South Australia.
  • Hobart remains the least affordable city to rent in Australia, with the average household income ($67,900 gross per annum) paying 34% of their income under a new rental agreement.
  • Greater Adelaide is the next least affordable city, where households pay 27% of their income on rent.
  • The ACT and Greater Sydney remain the least affordable locations for low-income households to rent.
  • In Canberra and Sydney, a single person on JobSeeker now pays 113% and 110% of their income on rent, respectively.
  • Regional areas such as Wollongong and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts are now unaffordable for households earning up to $80,000 per annum.
  • The greatest drop in rental affordability was recorded in Greater Perth, where affordability declined by 14%, a bigger jump than seen in cities like Brisbane and Hobart.
  • Greater Melbourne saw an improvement in rental affordability.

During the Pandemic, many households moved out of the capital cities into regional areas, where rental affordability has significantly deteriorated.

JobSeeker in major cities temporarily saw rental affordability increase due to larger allowances, but these households are now back at the same stress levels as they were pre-pandemic, except Greater Melbourne. In Greater Perth, Hobart and Brisbane, rental affordability is worse than before the Pandemic.

The Rental Affordability Index is released by National Shelter, SGS Economics & Planning, the Brotherhood of St. Laurence and Beyond Bank Australia

Read the report

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