A new survey finds that rent prices in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are significantly higher than in some other Australian cities, but it also suggests that Sydney is one of the most expensive cities for renters to rent in the country.
The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media survey, published on Wednesday, found that a whopping 78 per cent of respondents would rent a property in the city, and that just over half (49 per cent) said they would rent it at a profit.
In Brisbane, the figure was 58 per cent, with a median rent of $2,700 a month.
In Sydney, it was 55 per cent.
And in Melbourne, it’s 53 per cent and the median rent is $3,400 a month, with the median price of $5,200.
In all, the Sydney Morning Report/Fairfield Times/AAP poll found that just under half of Australians would rent the average rental property, compared to just over a third of respondents in Melbourne and less than a third in Brisbane.
But the survey also found that rent increases in Sydney were “modest” compared to other Australian capital cities, with only one per cent seeing an increase of at least 25 per cent over a year.
The survey also asked respondents which property they would prefer to rent, with 51 per cent choosing a Sydney property, and 49 per cent opting for a Brisbane property.
The findings suggest that, for those who are looking to rent a home, Sydney is the most affordable city in the Australian capital, with rent prices averaging $2.25 to $3.25 per square metre, the survey found.
The median rent in Sydney is $2.,000 a month and the average rent in Brisbane is $1,800 a month while in Melbourne it’s $3 per square meter.
“While there is a lot of speculation around Sydney being the next Melbourne, and Melbourne’s housing market is currently strong, there is no doubt that Sydney has the best housing market in Australia,” Sydney real estate agent and rental agent Pauline Williams said.
“I can guarantee you that people will not want to move here unless there is some really significant economic changes happening in Sydney.”
According to the Sydney Real Estate Institute, a non-profit group that tracks the real estate market in the CBD, there are more than 7,000 units in the City of Sydney, more than double the number that existed in the area in 2007.
In addition to the large number of properties in Sydney that are available to rent on the market, Williams said there are “several hundred properties that have been underutilised”.
“I would say that this is the biggest issue in the current property market in Sydney,” Williams said, referring to the number of vacant properties.
“There is no reason why you should move to Sydney if you can’t afford to pay the rent.”
Williams said that in the past five years, there has been a “massive” increase in demand for apartments in Sydney.
“We are seeing people move into Sydney, not only from Sydney but also from all over Australia,” she said.
A lack of affordable housing has been an issue in Sydney since 2013, when the city’s unemployment rate rose to 12 per cent from 9 per cent during the year prior.
A total of 22,000 apartments were empty across the city during that time, with nearly 4,500 being vacant for two years, according to data provided by the NSW government.
According to Williams, many of the apartments that are being sold are “in need of serious renovations”.
“They need to be refurbished, they need to have new windows, they don’t have the space to store all of the stuff,” she explained.
“You can’t just buy a building and then turn it into a living room.”
The survey revealed that more than half (54 per cent), of those surveyed, said they were satisfied with their living situation, compared with only about a quarter (24 per cent%) who were dissatisfied.
It also revealed that only 11 per cent said they had “never rented” before, compared as much as a quarter of respondents (23 per cent).
The survey was conducted between March 8 and 10.