• Mon. Mar 6th, 2023

‘Crisis is real’: housing shortage and open borders spur huge rent hikes across Sydney

ByGurinderbir Singh

Aug 16, 2022

Sydney’s rental crisis has been getting worse as winter rolls on due to soaring tenant demand from overseas arrivals and housing shortages.

Figures released today showed tenants in July had nearly half as many rentals to choose from as those a year ago, and landlords capitalised by cranking up their prices.

Rents on all housing categories inched up an average of 1.5 per cent over July, pushing the total increase for the past 12 months to 19.5 per cent, according to the SQM Research data.

The average Sydney rental home now costs about $645 per week.

It came as the supply of available accommodation plummeted from nearly 21,000 rentals last year to just under 12,000.

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Unit rents have been rising faster than house rents.

Only 1.5 per cent of the city’s rental stock was available for rent, down from 2.7 per cent the year prior.

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SQM Research director Louis Christopher noted a key driver of the rental increases was the return of overseas migration after nearly two years of closed borders.

The trend was having the most notable impact within inner city areas, he said.

“We have evidence that the rise in overseas arrivals is starting to put some additional demand pressure in certain pockets of the rental market,” Mr Christopher said.

He added that there was a slight uptick in vacancies in Wollongong and the Central Coast, but they remained well below long-term average for most of Sydney.


Nearly half as many rental homes are available compared to this time last year.

“The rental market by and large remains very tight,” he said. “We will wait to see if the increased immigration demand creates pressure elsewhere.”

Real Estate Institute of NSW CEO Tim McKibbin said finding a suitable rental home at an affordable price was becoming the main challenge for tenants.

“It’s a very stressful time for tenants,” he said. “(Our) members are telling us that they’ve never experienced such a lack of supply. The shortage of stock is extreme and there’s no denying that the rental crisis is real.”

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