Renting a unit instead of a house isn’t the cheap option it once was, with new figures revealing the gap between the two is shrinking.
According to the latest RP Data Quarterly Rental Review across the combined capital cities, median weekly rental rates for houses is $430 a week, while for units it is $420 a week.
In the September quarter, rents for houses remained flat with no growth but units went up by 2.4 per cent.
RP Data national research director Tim Lawless said the bad news for investors was that rents weren’t rising at anywhere near the same pace as property values were.
This was particularly the case in Sydney and Melbourne, where values had increased significantly but rents had not.
RP Data reported that Darwin topped the list as the most expensive city to rent in.
The median asking rent for a house is $660 a week, while a unit is $550.
Hobart is the cheapest with its median house rent at $330 a week and units for $275 a week.
Brisbane was the only capital city where rents didn’t change in the housing market during the quarter.
Melbourne experienced the highest jump in house rents — up by 2.6 per cent.
In Perth and Canberra, house rents dropped by 2.7 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively.
Mr Lawless said despite the drops in rental yields, investment demand was still at record levels and trending higher.
He said this showed that most investors were instead focusing on capital gains.
Adelaide — $350
Brisbane — $400
Canberra — $480
Darwin — $660
Hobart — $330
Melbourne — $390
Sydney — $525
Combined capital cities — $430
Adelaide — $300
Brisbane — $390
Canberra — $383
Darwin — $550
Hobart — $275
Melbourne — $370
Sydney — $500
Combined capital cities — $420