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Melbourne ‘rental stress’ increasingly common

28 August 2014 Staff Reporter

More than 21 per cent of Melbourne’s rental options, from one-bedroom units in Southbank to four-bedroom houses in Mt Waverley, will now set you back more than $500 per week.

Tenants Union of Victoria policy and liaison officer James Bennett said it was increasingly common for tenants to be in “rental stress” — that is, spending 30 per cent or more of their income on rent.

“In our experience, there are a large number of renters who are paying more than 30 per cent of their income in rent and this is quite widely considered rental stress,” Mr Bennett said.

“(And) we have heard of people spending up to 40 per cent in rent.”

The rent on a median four-bedroom house in Melbourne’s most illustrious postcode will set you back $1,339 per week, according to recently released Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) figures.

That’s more than many people earn in a week, and a hair under $70,000 a year.

It’s also a whopping $60,000 above the most affordable rental option, a median one-bedroom unit in Frankston, which will set you back just $200 per week, or $10,400 per year.

If a house is a must, the most affordable option is a three-bedroom place in Melton, where the median weekly rent is just $250.

There are now five Melbourne suburbs where the median rent per week is upwards of $1,000, the REIV figures reveal.

REIV spokesman Paul Bird said that at the top end of the Melbourne market a six-bedroom mansion in Toorak had a weekly median rent of $3,000 — but there were many more affordable options.

“There is certainly a big split between the most expensive and the cheapest, but there are some bargain rentals around the city,” Mr Bird said.

“(And) there are some champagne suburbs that you can rent with a pool or a sauna and up to six bedrooms — real mansion style accommodation.”

Melbourne ‘rental stress’ increasingly common
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