Rental crisis sweeps from coast-to-coast across Australia


CoreLogic’s latest rental listings report, released yesterday, shows that rental supply continues to plummet, with listings across the nation’s capital cities down by around one-third from pre-pandemic levels:

Australian rental listings

Australian rental listings have plummeted over the pandemic.

As shown above, the last time Australia’s rental listings were this low was 2014 when Australia’s population was around 10% smaller.

The next chart shows that listings have fallen across every capital city market over the past year, with the five majors posting the biggest declines:

Annual change in rental listings

Rental listings fall from coast-to-coast.

Not surprisingly, Australian rental growth remains turbo-charged, rocketing by 3.0% over the May quarter and by 9.3% annually, with regional rents (10.8%) growing even stronger than the capital cities (8.8%):

Australian rental growth

Australian rental growth almost universally strong.


This month’s rental report from SQM Research also showed that Australia’s capital rental vacancy rate plunged to its lowest level in 16 years of records:

Vacancy rates time series

SQM Research: Lowest rental vacancy rate on record.

Meanwhile, SQM’s asking rents index index rocketed by 2% in May to be a whopping 15.6% higher year-on-year across the combined capital cities.


The planned rebooting of the ‘Big Australia’ mass immigration program will obviously add to the rental squeeze, especially across the key migrant landing points of Sydney and Melbourne.

Where will all of the new Australians live when there is already an acute shortage of rental homes across the nation?

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.