What is a good rental yield?

By Bianca Dabu 29 November 2018 | 1 minute read

Rental yield is often cited as one of the most important elements for property investment success. Find out how you can maximise wealth-creation opportunities through the ‘cash flow strategy’:

house for rent sign good rental yield

Rental yield can be defined simply as the cash generated by your asset annually as a percentage of its value.

Working out your rental yield depends on the two main types of rental yield—gross rental yield and net rental yield.

Gross rental yield is your annual rent income divided by your property’s value, while the net rental yield takes into account the total property expenses including stamp duty, legal fees, loan fees, building inspections, repairs and maintenance, management fees, insurance costs and other rates and charges.

For a $700,000 property with a rental rate of $400 per week and a total of $5,000 holding cost, the computation would be:

Gross rental yield: ($400 x 52) = $20,800 / $700,000 = 2.97%

Net rental yield: ($400 x 52) = $20,800 - $5,000 = $15,800 / $700,000 = 2.25%

If you have not yet determined the actual price of the property, you can use the median price of properties in the suburbs to calculate rental yield.

Other types of rental yield include market yield and debt yield. Market yield is the total rental income over the asset’s current valuation, while debt yield is the total rent income against the size of the mortgage.

Rental yield to aim for

Chasing rental yield is not a strategy that would work for all investors.

In fact, experts advise against having rental yield as a sole consideration when investing in property. Ideally, investors must be able to marry rental yield and capital growth and sustain balance in their portfolios over the long term.

Properties with a high rental yield would be best for investors who are looking to improve their cash flow.

Right Property Group’s Steve Waters said: “A high cash flow where all the income takes care of all the expenditure gives you serviceability, which gives you time in the market because you’re not at the mercy of high-interest rate and market fluctuations.”

While there is no definite percentage that is considered as a ‘good rental yield’, but if you pay a high price for purchasing and holding a property, you must aim for a rental return high enough to offset the costs that you have to shoulder.

CoreLogic found that metropolitan suburbs, at their best last year, saw houses and units with five to eight per cent rental yields.

Meanwhile, Cohen Handler said that net yields typically go from -6 to 6 per cent and no higher.

For investors looking to rental yield potential as a deciding factor when purchasing a property, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia advised to aim for 5.5 per cent or higher.

According to them, if the gross rental yield potential of a property is at four per cent or below, chances are the property is overvalued for investment purposes. On the other hand, if the gross yield is 5.5 per cent or higher, the property could be undervalued or sold below market value.

Increase the rental yield on your property by implementing these strategies:

  • Invest in favourable rental markets and manage your leases well
  • Do a cosmetic renovation, like a repaint, to enjoy premium rent
  • In some cases, you can also opt for extensive renovations
  • Establish additional dwellings to get more than one rental income
  • Rent by the room
  • Find ways to utilise other assets in your property, like putting your parking space up for lease if it’s not being used by your tenant
  • Decrease expenses, if possible
  • Avoid vacancy by making your property more appealing—improve outdoor and lifestyle appeal, make the property more secure or add more built-in features
  • Increase your rent price appropriately

Should low rental yield be avoided?

Properties with high net rental yields are ideal for risk-averse investors who want to afford peace of mind as their investment generates good cash flow and ultimately takes care of their loan repayments.

By having positive cash flow, investors can sleep at night knowing that they have a good buffer in case of interest rate fluctuations, vacancy, personal crisis other low-income periods.

However, this is not to say that properties with low net rental yields are automatically bad news.

Investors who seek to chase capital growth and implement a long-term buy-and-hold strategy in a sustainable market may benefit from properties with low net rental yields.

Mr Waters explained: “If you’re holding $2 million in assets, an annual rise of 5 per cent in value translates into $100,000 in the first year which continues to compound as the property price cycle runs its course.”

To succeed through this strategy, investors are advised to establish a steady stream of cash flow to sustain the portfolio during low-cash flow circumstances.

Highest yield suburbs

The following suburbs, divided per state, have the highest yielding rental returns across the property markets in Australia as of November 2018:

Sussex Inlet 11.76% Inverloch 11.37%
Broken Hill 11.61% Murtoa 8.95%
Dareton 11.39% Nyah West 8.92%
Narooma 10.88% Donald 8.67%
Belrose 10.17% Warracknabeal 8.14%
Malua Bay 9.72% Edenhope 8.02%
Coonamble 9.41% Ararat 7.86%
Hillston 8.61% Cobram 7.80%
Darling Point 8.48% Nhill 7.70%
Wellington 8.39% Orbost 7.63%
Moura  15.20% Coober Pedy 13.38%
Cloncurry 13.87% Peterborough 11.79%
Collinsville 13.68% Roxby Downs 10.67%
Glen Eden 12.88% Port Augusta 10.40%
Dysart 11.82% Whyalla Stuart 9.82%
Mission Beach 11.51% Whyalla Norrie 9.75%
Blackwater 10.90% Port Pirie West 9.51%
Mount Morgan 10.46% Elizabeth Downs 9.30%
Nebo 10.40% Solomontown 9.24%
Pioneer 10.18%
Tas WA
RoseberyRosebery, TAS Rosebery, NT Rosebery, NSW 13.42% Newman 19.60%
QueenstownQueenstown, SA Queenstown, TAS 10.40% South Hedland 17.88%
Zeehan 9.64% Coolgardie 14.44%
Herdman Cove 8.52% Kambalda East 13.66%
Gagebrook 8.25% Kambalda West 12.28%
Cooee 7.71% Morgantown 12.24%
Rocherlea 7.70% Rangeway 11.95%
MayfieldMayfield, TAS Mayfield, NSW 7.68% Tom Price 11.73%
RavenswoodRavenswood, TAS Ravenswood, WA 7.50% Bulgarra 11.57%


Check out Smart Property Investment's Best Suburbs page to find out the top-performing investment areas in terms of yield and growth.


The information has been sourced from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cohen Handler, Domain and the Smart Property Investment website

About the author

What is a good rental yield?
house for rent sign good rental yield
spi logo

Get the latest news & updates

Join a community of over 100,000 property investors.

Check this box to receive podcast updates

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.