Renting in Brunswick: house price falls little help as rents increase


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Brunswick renters are forking out more on average than a year ago.

Now might be the time to buy, but Brunswick renters have been hit hard over the past few years.

The median sale price for houses in the suburb fell 13 per cent from $1.165 million to $1,103,500 in the 12 months to March 2019, according to CoreLogic.

But the median weekly asking rental price rose $40 to $600 for houses and $30 to $440 for units in that same period compared with a year earlier.

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17 Osborne St in Brunswick has a $550 per week rental price.

The timber kitchen.

Lots of ornamental details in the dining room.

According to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, there is not enough supply to meet demand for renters in the area.

REIV chief executive Gil King said Brunswick’s proximity to the CBD made it a popular and practical choice for renters.

He added that a large proportion were young people who liked to be close to the action and their place of work.

“Renting continues to be a more economically viable option for a large proportion of Brunswick residents,” Mr King said.

“But there are increasing cost pressures for landlords, including land tax, council rates and changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, which means they are likely to increase rents to cover costs in coming years.

“Rising rents are an indication that there is strong demand for rental properties in the area, and would suggest that there is just not enough supply to meet demand.”

Nelson Alexander Brunswick agent Jonathan West said his agency was seeing a lot of people transition from renting to buying in Brunswick.

“Even in a strong market … young families (were one segment) moving to Brunswick as renters to get a feel for the area, and then entering the market in a purchasing capacity,” Mr West said.

“There is high demand, a low vacancy rate and a short supply of properties on the market in Brunswick, so something has to give, and the price of rent invariably goes up.”

Beyond the picket fence at 14 Lyle St is a classic brick facade.

One of two bedrooms.

The carpeted living room.

Mr West said anyone selling in the current market was doing so for very good reasons.

“People want to be in and around Brunswick and the inner north, so I expect (rent prices) will keep going up over the next few years,” he said. chief economist Nerida Conisbee said there was less new development in the north compared to the south and southeastern suburbs of Melbourne.

“Brunswick has really good night-life, cafes and restaurants, and is a place that young people and students want to be in,” Ms Conisbee said.

“But it has less housing compared to the other inner suburbs of Melbourne.

6/271 Albion St is going for $500 per week.

The living room opens to the balcony.

The stainless steel kitchen.

“Population growth is another factor driving rental demand. Melbourne is still growing and creating jobs, which puts pressure on high demand areas like Brunswick.

“If it gets too expensive for renters and buyers, they’ll move to neighbouring suburbs like Preston and up the Hume Highway.”

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