The Aussie suburbs where would-be renters can’t find a home

New data reveals an acute shortage of rental listings in key suburbs – both in the cities and beyond.

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A recent report from MCG Quantity Surveyors has shone light on the stark reality of Australia’s rental markets, with many areas experiencing severe shortages in available rentals.

Managing director Mike Mortlock stated: “In areas like Greater Sydney and regional NSW, we’re seeing a significant crunch in available rentals, putting immense pressure on renters.”

Some regions are harder hit than others. In Sydney, the southern suburbs of Sutherland, Menai and Heathcote have only one rental listing in total.

“Regions like Greater Melbourne and Greater Brisbane, which traditionally have robust rental markets, are showing an alarming decrease in rental listings,” Mr Mortlock said.

However, it isn’t bad news for everyone. Mr Mortlock noted that while the scarcity of listings places stress on renters, it also “presents a unique opportunity for investors, especially with the potential shift in interest rates in 2024”.

“Our analysis reveals that while renters in areas such as regional Victoria and regional Queensland are facing tough times, investors could play a key role in easing these pressures,” Mr Mortlock said.

“By entering these markets, investors can increase the availability of rental properties, creating a win-win situation for both the rental community and themselves.”

In NSW, the areas with the worst vacancy rates are Oyster Bay in southern Sydney, and the regional suburbs of Iluka, Armidale and Inverell. Each suburb has only one available rental listing, as opposed to over 100 rental properties in total.

The lowest-supply suburbs in Victoria are Upwey, Montrose and Geelong. Twenty areas in Greater Melbourne and regional Victoria have three or fewer available rentals in the whole suburb.

Up in Brisbane, Ipswich and Eatons Hill have extremely low rental availability. Rockhampton and Mackay also suffered from low vacancies in December.

Rental availability is slightly better in Adelaide and Perth, but numerous suburbs still have only two available listings. The Eyre Peninsula and Barossa Valley in regional South Australia have rock-bottom vacancy rates of just a single listing per area.

Looking forward, MCG Quantity Surveyors advocated for a “balanced approach to the housing market”, balancing the short-term needs of struggling renters with the long-term goals of property investors.

“Addressing these dual aspects will be key to the health and sustainability of the Australian rental market in the coming year,” the firm concluded.

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