Brisbane rents reach highest level in a decade

City reached record-high prices in December 2020, surpassing Melbourne

Cityscape of Brisbane, Australia. RudyBalasko/Shutterstock

Atypical interstate and overseas migration rates have caused Brisbane’s rent prices to reach a record high in a decade, according to Domain.

The recently published Domain Rent Report revealed that house rents have spiked by AUD10 (USD7.75) to AUD425 per week, and units at AUD400 per week from AUD395, during the December quarter of 2020.

Nicola Powell, the senior research analyst at Domain, mentioned that Melbourne is offering cheaper unit rents than Brisbane for the first time in five years, as houses are experiencing the sharpest annual surge in seven years.

Powell said, “Brisbane gained the most interstate residents than any other capital over the June quarter… the lure of the city is real – from the lifestyle and the climate to the containment of the virus.”

“Tenants are (also) seeking livability, affordability and are no longer tied to a specific location in the work-remote era. Brisbane’s vacancy rate is likely to tighten further in the coming months due to the rising interest from southern states and the flow of residents from regional Queensland into Greater Brisbane,” she added.

Compared to December 2019, median rents have increased by AUD15 a week across Brisbane, while vacancy rates dropped by one percentage point to 1.9 percent in the last 12 months.

Cathie Crampton, the director of property management at Place Estate Agents Brisbane, mentioned that the team achieved a record-breaking month in December from the booming rental market with an outstanding 20 percent of leases rented out by interstate or overseas tenants.

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Crampton said, “we had over 100 groups through one of our recent rental listings… In fact, the demand is so high we’re increasing the rent prices in 35 percent of our listings.”

“[The market] has almost tipped to the edge – there’s just so much demand and no supply. I haven’t seen conditions like these in 15 years,” she added.

Brandon Wortley, Ray White Bulimba and East Brisbane managing principal, said the luxury sector has reached new heights, as houses valued at AUD1,000 or more a week are highly demanded.

Wortley said, “There’s a lot of parts to this growth – but in our eyes, it’s the record migration from what we call ‘boomerang renters’.”

“These are people who were originally from Brisbane but who moved abroad to chase a career or life experience… and I think honestly in this period (during the pandemic) they’ve gone ‘holy smokes I’m so far from home right now’ so that’s driving a lot (of our rental market).

I think there’s a lot more interest in upper-end rentals than there has been historically… and we’re in that sweet spot right now and I think it will continue for a while,” Wortley stated.