House rents in Sydney were flat over the quarter and they fell 2.8 per cent over the year.
Melbourne’s asking rents for apartments and houses were flat over the quarter, but unit rents rose by 2.4 per cent over the year.
Sydney rent uptick in 2021
Given the construction pipeline was “winding down quickly” (the latest ABS figures on Wednesday show a 36 per cent year-on-year drop off in the number of new homes being built in NSW during the September quarter), Mr Wiltshire said he expected Sydney rents to remain flat before picking up again next year.
Elsewhere, asking rents for apartments rose over the quarter, by 2.6 per cent in Darwin, 3.8 per cent in Hobart, 1.3 per cent in Brisbane and 1.6 per cent in Adelaide. There are green shoots in the WA capital: asking rents in Perth are now $20 more for houses than during the market trough in 2017.
In Canberra, despite its own building frenzy, rents have jumped in the past three years by 16 per cent for houses and 14 per cent for units.
Mr Wiltshire said: “Yes, there is a construction boom going on, but obviously population growth is catching up or exceeding that, averaging about 2 per cent every year for the past three years.”
Hobart’s rental market is under significant pressure, creating difficult conditions for renters. House rents are up 31 per cent – now $30 more than in Melbourne – and unit rents jumped 37 per cent over the past three years.
“The building pipeline has picked up but it has taken a while for construction to catch up and there have been supply bottlenecks. Building approvals have jumped so that should mean rental growth starts to moderate,” Mr Wiltshire said.
Nevertheless, Hobart’s rental vacancy, at 0.6 per cent, is the lowest of the capital cities.