Hobart the Least Affordable City for Renters


Hobart has overtaken Sydney as Australia's least affordable capital for tenants with the gap widening between rising rent and low-income growth, a new report has found.

The biannual Rental Affordability Index released by National Shelter, Community Sector Banking and SGS Economics & Planning is an indicator of the price of rents based on state and territory rental bond data and 2016 census data.

The latest report has found that Hobart's residents are spending 29 per cent of their gross median $61,300 income on rent with Sydney close behind with 27 per cent.

People in Hobart earn on average $30,000 less per year than Sydney residents but the gap in the cost of rents between the cities has tightened.

More people than ever are choosing Tasmania as the place to live, work and raise a family thanks to its booming economy.

SGS Economics and Planning partner Ellen Witte said the findings should be a “wake-up call” for Tasmania.

“There has been a single-minded focus on population growth, but a complete lack of vision of where this growth needs to go and how all households are going to be accommodated,” said Witte.

“Renting households, many of them working families, are now paying the price.”

Related reading: Hobart Tops Australian List on Global Residential Cities Index

Households are considered to be in housing stress if they spend 30 per cent of their income on rent.
Hobart House

Related reading: Hobart leads National Home Value Growth

Tasmania's Minister of Housing Roger Jaensch has been quick to address the findings of the rental affordability index.

“We know the best solution to our housing shortage is increased supply, and we are working closely with local government and the housing and property sectors on reforms that aim to deliver more residential land to market faster,” said Jaensch.

“We are currently progressing all the agreed outcomes from the (housing) summit (in March) with a range of short, medium and long-term solutions to ensure every Tasmanian has access to housing they can afford. ”

Rental affordability eased slightly in Sydney while overall rental affordability in Melbourne was unchanged at 24 per cent.

Adelaide, the third-least unaffordable city for renters, was little changed at 26 per cent while affordability has been improving in Perth and Brisbane.

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