Hobart, the most unaffordable city

30 Nov 18

In partnership with National Shelter, SGS Economics & Planning and the Brotherhood of St Laurence, we were proud to this week launch the latest Rental Affordability Index at Parliament House in Canberra.

The Rental Affordability Index is an indicator of the price of rents relative to household incomes based on new rental agreements. Released biannually, the latest release of the index found that Hobart has become the most unaffordable city for renters and that rental stress is affecting the majority of very low-income households in Australia with pensioners and single parents hit particularly hard.

Jumping further ahead of Sydney as the least affordable city to rent in Australia, households on average incomes in Hobart are now at risk of rental stress with the average income household paying 30 percent of income on rent.

Rental affordability in some other Australian cities, including Sydney, has improved marginally. In many cases, however, the gains have not flowed through to low-income households for whom unaffordability remains severe.

A RAI of 100 and below shows that households would be required to spend at least 30 per cent of their income on rent. A RAI of 100-120 indicates households are facing moderately unaffordable rents.

Rental stress is the everyday reality for the majority of single parents and single person households on low incomes.

Rental affordability for single pensioners is alarmingly poor across the nation. Single pensioners are facing severely unaffordable and extremely unaffordable rents in all Australian capitals and almost every regional area

Rental stress has become so entrenched and severe for low income households that the recent improved affordability in some cities has not brought relief.

With more than a million households needing some form of housing assistance and 45 per cent of low-income households experiencing rental stress, families are increasingly unable to save sufficiently for a house deposit.

While we have witnessed growing income inequality driving demand for social and affordable housing across the country, it’s a comprehensive vision and housing strategy from state and local government that will address the housing crisis and see more Australians leaving the rental market and closer to purchasing their own home.

Safe and affordable housing is a right for all Australians and along with our partners, we will continue to highlight the impact the current Australian housing crisis is having on Australians right across the country.

To view the recent Rental Affordability Index, click here.

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