A tougher Christmas for regional Qld and NSW tenants as rents skyrocket

Budgets this Christmas will be tight for many tenants, with a new analysis revealing the soaring cost of rent in regional Queensland and NSW over the past year.

The Everybody’s Home campaign has analysed the latest SQM Research Weekly Rents Index for combined units and houses. 

It found asking rents across regional Queensland have surged between $30 and $185 per week since November 2021.

The Gold Coast, Southern Queensland and Western Queensland have seen the largest dollar increases.

In regional NSW, asking rents rose between $17 and $70 per week over the past year. That excludes the South Coast where rent was at an eyewatering high of $595 per week – the highest compared with other regions.

The largest dollar increases were felt in Wollongong, the Hunter, and Western NSW, including Broken Hill and Dubbo.

Qld RegionAsking rent Nov 2022Annual change in weekly rent
Gold Coast Main$793.82$185 or 30.4%
Gold Coast Hinterland$686.26$161 or 30.7%
Southern Queensland(incl Lockyer Valley, Western Downs)$394.38 $84 or 26.9%
West Queensland
(incl Longreach, Winton)
$288.71$67 or 30%
Sunshine Coast $629.83 $49 or 8.4%
Queensland Central Coast
(incl Rockhampton, Bundaberg)
$430.36$48 or 12.6%
Cairns$483.29$43 or 9.8%
Toowoomba$421.29$42 or 11%
North Queensland (incl Charters Towers, Mt Isa)$366.90 $34.5 or 10.4%
Queensland North Coast(incl Mackay, Townsville, Whitsundays)$424.76$33 or 8.4%
Queensland Far North Coast$404.62 $32 or 8.5%
Central Queensland(incl Roma, Charleville) $346.54 $30 or 9.5%

*week ending 20 November 2022 

NSW RegionAsking rent Nov 2022Annual change in weekly rent
(incl Shellharbour, Kiama)
$561.80$70 or 14.3%
Hunter Region$512.79$61 or 13.5%
Broken Hill – Dubbo$405.88 $53 or 14.9%
Tamworth$379.95 $52 or 15.9%
Central Tablelands$​​467.52 $50 or 12%
Central Coast$585.77$40 or 7.3%
Riverina$413.69 $36 or 9.5%
Murray Region$367.75 $28 or 8.2%
North Coast$578.62$17 or 3.1%
South Coast$595.09 -$1.20 or -0.2%

*week ending 20 November 2022 

Everybody’s Home national spokesperson Maiy Azize said this year’s perfect storm of the rising cost of living and stagnant wages has hit renters hard. 

“It’s been a shocking, challenging year for regional Queensland and NSW tenants. Inflation is yet to peak while wages aren’t keeping up. Landlords have passed the cost of interest rate rises onto renters. Floods have had a devastating impact on lives and housing stock, and residential vacancy rates largely remain below one per cent in many regions.

“Living standards are deteriorating. It’s been a year where we’ve heard countless stories of people living in tents and shoddy accommodation across the regions. 

“Having a roof over your head is choking household budgets ahead of what is already traditionally an expensive time of year. Sadly, many will likely rein in the festive celebrations simply because they can’t afford it and don’t want to risk becoming homeless. 

“Rental stress is the passageway to homelessness. There aren’t enough houses to accommodate all Australians. We urgently need to expand social and affordable housing for people on low and modest incomes.

“We’ve seen positive progress this year with the Federal Government announcing its landmark National Housing Accord, which includes a target to build one million well-located homes over five years from 2024. 

“But time isn’t on our side. People are suffering so we need shovels in the ground now to rapidly deliver at least 25,000 social homes across Australia annually.”

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