Hobart and Melbourne renters pay virtually the same price
HOBART’S ongoing rental stress comes as little surprise to experts on this corner of the property market.
Shelter Tasmania executive officer Pattie Chugg labelled it “disheartening”, while Real Estate Institute of Tasmania president Tony Collidge said it was “no surprise”.
In a national report released by CoreLogic last week, Hobart was revealed as the fifth most expensive city when it came to rental prices.
And it was almost fourth, with Hobart pretty much on equal footing with Melbourne at $453 and $454 per week respectively.
However, Hobart had far and away the highest level of growth, with a 3.6 per cent quarterly change and a 5.4 per cent annual change in rental prices.
Pattie said CoreLogic’s Quarterly Rental Review for the March quarter showed rents in Hobart had increased by 44 per cent over the past 10 years, which was twice the national increase over that period.
She said these “soaring increases” starkly revealed the levels of rental hardship in Tasmania.
Pattie said while rents continue to rise, Tasmanian incomes remain the lowest in the country.
She said Tasmanian household incomes were on average $300 less per week than the national median.
“The trend of increasing rental hardship shows no sign of reducing in Tasmania,” she said.
Tony said that while the CoreLogic results showed a softening compared with the previous year, Hobart’s limited supply of property for rent, set against a strong consumer demand for rental accommodation, was seeing rents continue to increase.
He said as Hobart continues to attract more people, rents will rise unless supply can be increased.
“There is a strong need for the Government and councils to look for ways of simplifying how more infill housing can be constructed in and around central Hobart where demand is highest,” he said.
Tony said the state’s private rental supply was “pushed to its limits, perhaps even beyond”.
“We desperately need more accommodation, particularly in the tourism, student and public sectors to release the pressure on this sector of the market,” he said.
“Unfortunately with our building industry operating at near capacity, we are not bridging the gap to fill this overflowing demand.”
Pattie said with Tasmania’s dire shortage of affordable private rental housing, action was urgently needed to address the state’s housing crisis.
She said the Federal Budget offered little in the way of housing investment or support for people on low and moderate incomes.
“In our State Budget submission, we called on the State Government to invest the stamp duty windfall in affordable housing. Imagine what $100 million of extra new investment could do for people who urgently need homes,” she said.