Most of Australia's major rental markets remained steady over the December quarter, new research has revealed.
According to Australian Property Monitors' Rental Price Series Quarterly Report, median asking rents for houses was stable at 0.8 per cent, and units remained the same at 0.2 per cent over the three months ending December 2012.
Sydney house rents were steady over the quarter at $500, but units rose by 2.2 per cent to $460 per week, with underlying demand for rental properties remaining strong and driven by a chronic shortfall in new supply.
Melbourne's rental market remains the most tenant-friendly of all the major capitals, with stagnant rental growth for units over 2012 and house rentals continuing to decline – down by 1.4 per cent over 2012 to $360 per week.
Perth experienced the highest growth in rental prices, rising by 4.4 per cent over the December quarter to $470 per week, with unit rentals up by 2.6 per cent to $400 per week.
The surge in Perth rentals has been driven by an influx of new arrivals over the past few years exacerbating subdued levels of new housing.
"The upward pressure on rents is set to continue in markets such as Perth, Brisbane and Darwin, with Sydney also set to resume rental growth in 2013 for both houses and units," Australian Property Monitors' senior economist, Dr Andrew Wilson, said.
"Melbourne, however, will continue to provide the best value for tenants with rents to remain stable or even decline over 2013."