Tenants are returning to the driver’s seat as asking rents show little to no growth


IMAGINE negotiating your rent down. Yes, down.

That could be on the cards for tenants in several capital cities after almost a year of lacklustre rental growth, or even decreases in the weekly asking rent.

The latest CoreLogic RP Data rental review shows rents across the combined capitals were virtually unchanged in October, down by 0.1 per cent for the month. In four of the eight capital cities rents actually fell.

And data out today from SQM Research also suggests a whiff of good news for renters. The number of rental vacancies rose slightly across the nation in October from 2.1 to 2.3 per cent. So with rental vacancies (the amount of unoccupied rental properties advertised at a particular time) on the way up, and asking rents on the way down, tenants could be in the driver’s seat in 2016.

“Rents have actually fallen four of the last five months. I think we’re pretty close to a pattern now,” said CoreLogic RP Data research analyst Cameron Kusher.

The rate fell 0.2 per cent in June, 0.3 per cent in July, 0.4 per cent in August, was unchanged in September, down 0.1 per cent in October; I think there’s definitely a pattern there that rental rates are starting to fall,” he said.
Could renters be holding the reigns in the new year? Picture: Paul Guy

Could renters be holding the reigns in the new year? Picture: Paul GuySource:News Corp Australia

“I think the amount of new unit stock being built, particularly in Melbourne and Brisbane, is going to hamper any rental increases. That’s going to mean landlords don’t have the scope to lift rents. In fact, if they’ve got a decent tenant they’re going to have to cut rents. I’ve already heard stories of that happening in Brisbane,” Mr Kusher told news.com.au.

According to CoreLogic RP Data figures, the weekly asking rent for houses in the south Brisbane suburb of Ellen Grove have dropped 38.9 per cent over the past 12 months to $330 and in the city’s north, units in Grange have fallen by 31 per cent to $345 a week.

In Sydney, Bayview on the northern beaches has seen rents drop by 30.7 per cent to a median asking rent of $983 a week for houses; Claremont in suburban Perth has had rents decrease by 28.6 per cent a week to $750 and Lyons in Darwin had a 28 per cent slump in weekly rents to $720 a week.

Amy Sanderson, LJ Hooker head of property investment management said after a sluggish year of rental growth, the current market has struck a “good balance”.

“It’s a good time for both sides I think, for tenants and landlords,” Ms Sanderson said.

“It’s times like these that some renters can afford to be a bit more fussy and have a better chance to get the property they want at a price they want,” she said.

“A savvy renter can sit down now and analyse the market, work out what their must haves are and get the money right,” she said.

But that all depends on their home town. Mr Kusher said while the national rental market remains sluggish, each city is moving at its own pace.

“You can see there’s quite a bit of discrepancy across the cities. Rents are still rising in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart, they’re pretty flat elsewhere, and falling pretty sharply in Perth and Darwin. But in all instances the rate of rental growth now is slower than it was at the same time last year,” he said.

“There’s potential that rents could be falling in Melbourne and Brisbane, but I think Sydney’s a little more sheltered than that just because there’s a massive housing shortage in Sydney,” he said.

“I don’t think rental rates are going to collapse, but there will be a bit of a pull back so I guess the point is to be realistic about what you can afford. You might be able to get it cheaper than you think, but if you think you’re going to get that property that’s $600 a week to rent for $500 a week then that’s probably fairly unrealistic. But you might be able to get it for $560 or $570 and that’s the reality of it.”

Suburbs where rental are dropping

Perth (combined dwelling rents are down 2.9 per cent for the quarter to $454)


Claremont -28.6 per cent (drop in asking rent) $750 (weekly rent)

Coolbinia -27.5 per cent $488

Waterford -26.7 per cent $550

Menora -24 per cent $570

North Beach -18.6 per cent $570


Crawley -18.4 per cent $400

Mount Hawthorn -18.2 per cent $450

Subiaco -16 per cent $500

Daglish -14.4 per cent $385

Connolly -13.7 per cent $440

Darwin (combined dwelling rents are down 4.7 per cent for the quarter to $523)


Lyons -28 per cent $720

Fannie Bay -12.3 per cent $965

Anula -11.1 per cent $560

Rapid Creek -9.4 per cent $625

Durack -9.2 per cent $590


Farrar -10.7 per cent $500

Rapid Creek -9.9 per cent $430

Brinkin -7.1 per cent $460

Fannie Bay -6.9 per cent $540

Stuart Park -6.8 per cent $550

Brisbane (combined dwelling rents are down 0.7 per cent for the quarter to $430)


Ellen Grove -38.9 per cent $330

Fig Tree Pocket -15 per cent $595

Hawthorne -13.7 per cent $565

Bulimba -10.3 per cent $650

Elimbah -10 per cent $470


Grange -31 per cent $345

Bardon -22.1 per cent $415

Kenmore -12.7 per cent $463

Mount Ommaney -12.7 per cent $550

Wakerley -10.2 per cent $420

Sydney (combined dwelling rents are up 0.1 per cent for the quarter to $593)


Bayview -30.7 per cent $983

Taren Point -25.7 per cent $520

Denistone East -17.1 per cent $580

North Wahroonga -16.7 per cent $850

Clovelly -16.1 per cent $1150


Seaforth -30.4 per cent $800

Northbridge -13.6 per cent $540

Tamarama -11.8 per cent $750

Marayong -11.7 per cent $415

Queens Park -11.4 per cent $620

Melbourne (combined dwelling rents had a 0 per cent change for the quarter to $448)


Parkville -24 per cent $480

Kilsyth South -22.9 per cent $420

Park Orchards -20.6 per cent $675

Research -20.4 per cent $430

Eaglemont -12.2 per cent $523


Tyabb -12.3 per cent $250

Kooyong -10.9 per cent $570

Albert Park -8.2 per cent $423

Sandringham -7.5 per cent $370

Rosebud -7.1 per cent $295

Caulfield -7 per cent $400

Adelaide (combined dwelling rents are down 0.9 per cent for the quarter to $364)


Hawthorn -16.1 per cent $470

Glenside -16.1 per cent $523

Glenelg -15.8 per cent $493

Unley Park -12.2 per cent $665

Saint Morris -12.1 per cent $400


Gilberton -19 per cent $340

Frewville -13.9 per cent $373

Renown Park -13.8 per cent $280

Thebarton -12.9 per cent $305

Tennyson -11.4 per cent $310

Allenby Gardens -11.3 per cent $295

Hobart (combined dwelling rents are down 0.4 per cent for the quarter to $337)


Lewisham -11.4 per cent $310

Glebe -10.1 per cent $355

Dodges Ferry -7.1 per cent $260

Geilston Bay -7 per cent $330

Brighton -3.1 per cent $310


Rokeby -28.3 per cent $190

Rose Bay -17.5 per cent $260

Berriedale -14.1 per cent $198

Howrah -9.2 per cent $273

Mount Nelson -5.2 per cent $228

Canberra (combined dwelling rents are down 0.6 per cent for the quarter to $491)


Hawker -24.3 per cent $490

Yarralumla -20 per cent $600

Weetangera -14 per cent $499

Theodore -13.6 per cent $428

Campbell -13 per cent $600


Hawker -11.1 per cent $320

Griffith -9.5 Per cent $380

Campbell -9.1 per cent $300

Downer -8.8 per cent $310

Hughes -8.6 per cent $265