ACT News

Rental prices fall as growth stalls in all capital cities

Rental prices continued to fall in Canberra during the September quarter as the market stalled in all capital cities, according a research report by the Domain Group.

Domain Group senior economist Dr Andrew Wilson said the median rental price for units in Canberra fell from $385 to $380 per week during the quarter, which was significantly less than the $442 asking price recorded during the December quarter of 2011.

The median asking rent for houses in Canberra remained steady during the September quarter at $450 per week, which was 2.7 per cent lower than the asking price recorded a year earlier.

Despite the falling prices, the rental market in Canberra remains more expensive than in Melbourne, where the median weekly rent for a house is $380 and $370 for a unit.

Dr Wilson said the results were the sign of a pause in the national market; units in Brisbane and houses in Darwin were the only market segments to see an increase in weekly rent.

"Overall, national median weekly asking rents for houses decreased by 0.3 per cent while unit rents fell by 0.4 per cent over the quarter," he said.

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Darwin remains the most expensive city to rent in with a median weekly rent of $550 for a unit and $660 for a house, which was still $20 below the asking rate recorded a year earlier.

In Sydney, the median rent for houses remained stable at $510 a week while the weekly rate for units fell by five dollars to $495.

 "Unit rents weakened in Sydney over the September quarter, however, the median asking house rent remained steady at the June quarter's record level of $510 per week despite record levels of investor activity in the local market," said Dr Wilson.

But Dr Wilson said demand would continue to put upward pressure on the rental market in Sydney despite the pause in growth.

"In Sydney, yields are holding, asking rents are still strong and there are currently no signs of overshooting market fundamentals," he said.

Rental prices continued to fall in Perth, where the median rent for a house is now $450 and $395 for a unit, which is a yearly decline of 6.3 and 6 per cent respectively.

"Over the quarter, the median asking house rent fell from $460 to $450 a week, which is well down from the $490 recorded over the June quarter last year," Dr Wilson said.

In Brisbane the weekly rent for a unit increased by five dollars to $370 to return to the asking rate recorded 12 months earlier.

"Brisbane continues to deliver the highest yields of the major capitals for houses and Adelaide for units," he said.