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AU Renters face prospect of paying more

Property Here - Thursday, April 11, 2013

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Perth is on track to become the most expensive major capital in terms of rents, according to APM / File Source:The Courier-Mail

RENTERS in Sydney, Perth and Darwin are set to pay more as those cities still lack sufficient housing, a study shows.

However rental growth in Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra is expected to remain subdued over the remainder of 2013, reflecting their weaker local economies, the latest Australian Property Monitors quarterly rental report says.

The blistering rise in Perth house and unit rents continues with fresh research showing landlords in the city have jacked up rents by 4.3 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively over the first three months of the year.

House rents are now 22.5 per cent higher than at the same time last year, while rents on apartments in the city are 17.1 per cent higher over the same period, according to the Australian Property Monitors.

"It's a horror story for tenants and it's nirvana for landlords,'' APM senior economist Andrew Wilson said.

"Perth is on track to become the most expensive major capital in terms of rents,Dr Wilson told The Australian.

"The next quarter will most likely see Perth take the mantle of Australia's most expensive place to rent accommodation.

"Upward pressure on rents is set to continue in Darwin and Sydney as a chronic shortage of housing continues to put the rental bite on tenants in those cities."

Dr Wilson said demand for apartments would also continue to rise in Melbourne, driven by affordability constraints and lifestyle preferences.

But an increase in new apartments in Melbourne would offset rent rises.

APM also said that the difference in rent for houses and rent for apartments was narrowing.

During the first three months of the year, house rents remained flat in most capital cities, except for Perth.

Darwin was the most expensive major city, with the median weekly asking rent for a house at $700.

The cheapest major city was Hobart, where the average rent for a house was $310 a week.

In Sydney, the weekly rent for a house was $500, and in Melbourne $360.

Rents for apartments over the March quarter moved up in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, but were flat in Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin and Hobart.

Darwin was again the most expensive major city for units , with a median weekly asking rent for a unit of $550.

And Hobart was again the cheapest, at $250.

A unit in Sydney rented for $470 per week and an apartment in Melbourne at $360.

Mr Wilson said that Melbourne remained highly affordable for tenants compared with the other mainland capitals, with Melbourne house rents at $360 per week -- 28 per cent lower than Sydney's.

Only house rents in Adelaide, which were unchanged over the March quarter and the same level as 12 months prior, were more affordable, according to APM's report. Apartment rents in Adelaide rose 1.8 per cent over the March quarter to $280 -- the same level as 12 months ago.

The Brisbane rental market paused over the March quarter with no rises recorded in the median weekly asking price for both houses and units. `

"Given the recent growth in rents in Brisbane and the tightening rental market, potential home buyers are perhaps being activated by low interest rates and low entry-level home prices, taking some demand away from a highly competitive rental market,'' Mr Wilson said.

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