Growth in advertised median rents remains low across Melbourne but with significant localised variations. In the current market this makes it important for renters to shop around as much as possible.
In the last year the median advertised rent on a weekly basis for a house in Melbourne has increased by 2.8 per cent to $447. In the last quarter it actually fell by a minor 0.1 per cent. In dollar terms, as many renters will assess the matter, the increase has been $13 per week. Over the last two years it has been $21 per week.
To put this into context, over the same time in 2010 median advertised rents increased by $25 in one year alone.
Pressure in the rental market has clearly eased and the market has shifted in favour of renters.
At a suburban level, rents have fallen in many areas. Over the last year the largest falls in rents was recorded in our most expensive suburbs. For instance advertised rents in Middle Park have dropped 11.4 per cent, in Brighton by 10.5 per cent and Sandringham by 9.1 per cent. With median house rents of more than $700 per week that does not affect a large number of renters.
Looking around the middle of the rental market for houses, between $400 and $500 per week, advertised rents have also fallen in many suburbs, but by a smaller amount. Eltham, Ascot Vale, Box Hill and Burwood are good examples. No increase has been recorded in Wantirna South, Thornbury, Oakleigh or Doncaster. Advertised rents have increased, but by less than the metropolitan wide number in Brunswick, Seddon and Blackburn South.
At the other end of the spectrum, rents have risen in some suburbs. In Newport, Kensington, Chadstone, Flemington, Ashburton and Glen Waverly increases of 4 per cent or more have been recorded over the past 12 months.
In the unit market the rapidly increasing supply restraining growth in values is also affecting the rental market. In the last year the median advertised rent on a weekly basis for a unit in Melbourne has increased 2.1 per cent to $398. In the middle of the unit market rents have fallen in Clifton Hill, Brunswick East, Windsor and Richmond.
Clearly it is worth shopping around if you are renting.