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Renters in Victoria will continue to feel the sting as low vacancy rates put pressure on leaseholders, new research has suggested.
According to results collated by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), the median rent for houses in Melbourne remained at $480 per week during January.
Renters in Melbourne who are living in an apartment saw an increase in rental costs, with the average price increasing to $445 a week.
REIV president Leah Calnan said Victoria’s rental market remains tough following another month of low vacancy rates, with the metro remaining at 2.2 per cent and regional vacancy rates for January being 1.7 per cent.
“There is a strong demand for more rental properties, and sadly many families are still struggling to get a rental home,” Ms Calnan said.
With new rental laws being introduced by the Victorian government, landlords are apprehensive about how the regulations will affect them, adding to the rental shortage in Victoria.
“With vacancy rates having stayed below 3 per cent since March 2016 in Victoria, more homes are badly needed.”
“The Andrews government needs to work more closely with landlord and the real estate sector to ensure more homes are available for rent,” Ms Calnan continued.
However, while it may be bad news for renters, landlords are the big winners in a low vacancy environment, with competition for places heating up.
“Our members are reporting that each new property is being flooded with rental applications and are rented out in no time,” she said.
Those who live further away from the city have some relief, with the average rent for regional housing reduced to $350 per week. Median rents for regional units remained at $290 per week.