Canberra tops Sydney for renting

Overseas Property | 22 Oct 2020

Sydney has lost its place at the top of the table to Canberra as Australia's most expensive city for renting a home.

That comes about because of Covid-19 and an Australian lockdown. And overseas students and new immigrants cannot enter the country for now.

According to data from SQM Research, the current median weekly rent for a house in Sydney is A$611 (HK$3,353) compared to Canberra's A$623.

And the average rent for an apartment unit in Sydney is A$452 weekly against A$479 for a comparable unit in Canberra.

SQM Research boss Louis Christopher pointed out that areas of Sydney close to the core business district saw the largest rent declines.

Yet it was only last month that prospective tenants were looking for places far away from big cities to rent houses.

Dampening demand for apartments and houses, only 50 overseas students entered Australia in August.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics noted there were 55,000 in the corresponding period last year. The big change represents a 99.9-percent year-on-year drop.

Still, the Australian Financial Review reported that confidence in property investment this month the highest of the year.

And the consumer confidence index for this month was the highest since last year, Westpac Bank and the Melbourne Institute announced.

That was seen to reflect among other things that people have recovered their confidence in the property market.

The number of people who thought it was the right time to buy a home increased by 10.6 percent - a high since last September.

Among them, New South Wales rose 11.3 percent to 120.4 points, Victoria was up 7 percent to 118, and Queensland rose 4.4 percent to 118.6.

Westpac's chief economist, Bill Evans, said that the increase in Australian buyers' confidence in home ownership was due mainly to this year's government budget and what were rated successful measures to stave off the coronavirus.

Property market confidence in western Australia increased by 29 percent and South Australia by 10 percent.

And in Victoria, where Covid-19 has hit hard, property prices should soon see double-digit increases, Evans predicted.

But the central bank of Australia has pointed out that property prices may fall again due to a slowing in population growth and the possibility of financially troubled owners selling properties to repay debts.

Additionally, government economic stimulus measures are being reduced gradually, which could lead to an increase in the unemployment rate and affect the ability of would-be buyers to enter the property market.

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