High demand for units in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth have driven up median weekly asking rents in the March quarter, according to Australian Property Monitors’ Rental Price Series Quarterly Report.
Nationally, median asking rents for houses was stable at 0.4 per cent, however units rose by 2.2 per cent over the three months ending March 2013.
Though house rentals remained flat in Sydney over the quarter at $500, unit rents rose by 2.2 per cent to $470 per week.
In Melbourne, unit prices increased by 2.9 per cent to $360 per week - the same current weekly asking rent as for houses.
Perth and Darwin also continue to record massive increases in both house and unit rental prices, with Darwin the most expensive capital city in which to rent.
“Upward pressure on rents is set to continue in Sydney, Perth and Darwin as a chronic shortage of housing continues to put the rental bite on tenants in those cities,” Australian Property Monitor’s senior economist Andrew Wilson said.
“The demand for units in Sydney in particular is being influenced by low first home buyer numbers as well as emerging lifestyle preferences, which will see prices rise for this area of the market, particularly at the more affordable end of the price spectrum.
“Despite a similar drive towards inner-city living, Melbourne remains a relatively tenant-friendly market with lower rents set to continue as significant numbers of new apartments are released to the market.”