Cheap rentals are becoming scarcer in the Top End with new data showing the number of affordable properties listed for lease plummeted since the start of Covid.
The latest PropTrack Market Insight Report revealed the number of affordable properties (below $400) listed for rent in Darwin dropped from 43.9 per cent to 8.8 per cent between March 2020 and February 2023.
During that time, the share of houses listed for rent that were below $400 per week dropped from 27.5 per cent to 2.6 per cent while the share of units fell from 54.6 per cent to 13.4 per cent.
Darwin had just two suburbs where the median unit rent was deemed affordable and not a single suburb where the median house rent was below the $400 mark.
The five cheapest suburbs to rent a house were Moulden ($500), Gray ($520), Bakewell ($525), Driver ($550) and Karama ($550).
For units, the most affordable suburbs were Ludmilla ($365), Tiwi ($385), Moulden ($400), Gray ($415) and Karama ($430).
The vacancy rate for Darwin was also low, sitting at just 1.3 per cent.
Real Estate Central Property Department Manager, Hayley Hosking said the increase in rents was a reflection of what was going on in the wider property market in Darwin.
“In recent times we’ve seen a lack of new investors coming into the market and a trend with many existing investors selling properties that have become owner occupied,” she said.
“This is influencing a lack of stock, which naturally sees the rental price driven up.
“Activity at the moment would suggest this will continue in 2023.”
The PropTrack Market Insight Report showed the number of affordable rental listings nationally shrunk from 42.5 per cent of all listings in March 2020 to just 17.6 per cent now.
Across the country there were 353 suburbs where the median house rent was below $400 and 509 suburbs where the median unit rent was considered affordable.
PropTrack used $400 as a benchmark based on the pre-Covid median rental price.
The figure was also roughly one third (32 per cent) of the median Australian income, which was $65,000 as of August 2022 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Most affordable rental suburbs (houses)
Moulden – $500
Bakewell – $525
Driver – $550
Karama – $550
Most affordable rental suburbs (units)
Ludmilla – $365
Tiwi – $385
Moulden – $400
Gray – $415
Karama – $430