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Perfect storm leaves regional renters out to dry

By Kyle Robbins
05 July 2022 | 1 minute read
Kate Colvin reb

Tenants in regional NSW are feeling the pinch of rising interest rates, with new research naming five regions set to be the worst hit by the rental crunch.

New analysis conducted by Everybody’s Home, the national campaign for real housing solutions, has found the five regions that will be most impacted by the state’s rental crisis. These five regions all have vacancy rates below 1 per cent, while rents have experienced 10 to 20 per cent increases.

The five regions where renters are experiencing the financial pressures of interest rates rises are:

  1. Broken Hill and Dubbo: With just 64 of the 15,246 rental properties available to new tenants, these central-west locations are really feeling the pressure of the rental crisis, with vacancy rates sitting at 0.42 per cent. Rents have undergone an annual increase of 14.5 per cent to now be at $390.
  2. The Murray region: Down in the state’s south, vacancy rates currently reside at 0.43 per cent, with 108 available rentals from a total of 25,282 properties. Rents in this region are currently $365, having experienced 11.4 per cent annual growth.
  3. The Riverina region: A slightly higher vacancy rate of 0.44 per cent in this region compared to the previous two, thanks to 143 of 32,573 eligible properties currently being available to tenants. Weekly rents, currently at $379, have risen due to 16.5 per cent annual growth.
  4. Wollongong: This south-coast location, previously reported as one of the top regional locations Australia-wide where Millennials were moving to, has a vacancy rate of just over half a per cent (0.55 per cent). There are 407 available rentals from 32,573 properties, with the median asking rent sitting at $548, thanks to 18 per cent annual growth.
  5. Tamworth: Tenants in Australia’s home of country music are asking for $358 in weekly rent, a figure that is up 9.9 per cent annually. Conditions are tight in this regional town, with 178 of 32,573 rental properties available for leasing leading to vacancy rates to presently rest at 0.58 per cent.

Kate Colvin, spokesperson for Everybody’s Home, said many landlords would look to recoup the price of rising interests by passing the cost on to their tenants.

“Renters are in for a seriously difficult time as landlords capitalise on historically low vacancy rates to shift the rising cost of interest rates on to their tenants,” she said. 

Ms Colvin admitted that a decade of inaction under the former federal government had created a “perfect storm” that has left limited options for many Australians unable to afford properties in their local communities.

“We need to start planning for more social and affordable housing now. A dip in construction starts is forecast for next year, and that’s a great opportunity for government to swing in and take up the slack in the industry,” she said.

Concluding that “the bitter fruit of a decade of housing neglect is with us now and is being unfairly forced on low-income renters. This problem will only get worse if we fail to act.”

Perfect storm leaves regional renters out to dry
Kate Colvin reb
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