Rising regional rents demand govt action

Ahead of a National Regional Housing Summit, new analysis by Everybody’s Home reveals the top ten regional areas that have been smashed by a spike in rents.

MPs, industry bodies and not-for-profits will meet in Canberra today to discuss solutions to the regional housing crisis.

Meanwhile, an Everybody’s Home analysis of SQM Research data shows regional areas in Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia have copped double-digit percentage rent rises over the past year.

Asking rents in the top ten worst affected regions are at least $37 extra per week compared to a year ago, with renters in Northern WA forking out $133 more. 

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Maiy Azize said building more social housing was among the key solutions to easing the housing crisis in regional Australia.

Top 10 regional areas hit with the highest % rental increase in 12 months

Region12 month rental increase % 12 month rental increase $
1. Central Queensland21.8%$77
2. Goldfields Region WA21%$93
3. Central Coast WA20.8%$74
4. Northern WA18.4%$133
5. South Western Victoria  17.3%$77
6. South West WA16.8%$83
7. Southern Queensland16.7%$67
8. Queensland Far North Coast12.5%$54
9. Eyre SA12.5%$37
10. Western Victoria12.1%$47
* SQM Research Weekly Rents Index, combined units and houses, week ending February 4 2024.

“Right across regional Australia we’re seeing rents rise every year and more people become trapped in housing stress and homelessness. This isn’t right and must stop being accepted as normal,” Ms Azize said.

“A lack of affordable housing has flow-on effects for the liveability of regional areas. Long-time locals are being driven out of their communities. Essential workers are struggling to find a place to live.

“An extra 227,000 social homes need to be built in regional Australia just to meet the demand of today. That need for housing is expected to grow within the next 20 years.  

“The regional housing summit is an important opportunity to keep the rental crisis conversation alive but there’s only so many times governments can be told of the same solutions. It’s time for governments to start acting on more ambitious plans to improve housing affordability across the country. 

“The federal government must spend more on social housing, end investor handouts, and work with the states and territories to stop unfair rent increases. 

“Australian taxpayers have never spent so much propping up the private rental market, yet housing has never been so unaffordable. The housing system is out of balance because of government policy decisions – government action must fix this before it gets even worse.”

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