What is the average rent in Australia in 2024?

Key Points

  • The median rent for a house in Australian capital cities is $630 per week, as of March 2024. 
  • The median rent for a unit in Australian capital cities is $620 per week, as of March 2024. 
  • Combined capital city rents increased by 10.5% for houses between March 2023 - 2024.
  • In regional Australia, the median rent for a house is $540 per week, as of March 2024. 
Adelaide cityscape.

This article has been updated to reflect Domain's March 2024 Rental Report data.

Whether you’re looking at houses or units in capital cities or regional areas, rents across Australia have been rising at a rapid pace.

Data from Domain shows advertised rental prices for houses in Australia's capital cities surged 10.5% over the last year, and 5% over the last quarter. 

For regional renters, house rents increased 8% over the year to March 2024, and 1.9% over the quarter. 

Let's break down the statistics and what they mean for Australians.

What is the average rent for a house in Australia?

Sydney remains the most expensive city to rent a house in, with median weekly rents sitting at $750.

Canberra takes second place at $685 per week, followed by Darwin ($650 per week), Perth ($650 per week), and Brisbane ($620 per week).

The median weekly rent for a house in regional Australia is $540 per week.

The table below shows the median rent in each capital city, along with how much each has risen over the past year.

Median house rents in March 2024 (Source: Domain)

CityMedian house rentAnnual change
Sydney$750+13.6%
Melbourne$570+14%
Brisbane$620+10.7%
Adelaide$590+13.5%
Perth$650+18.2%
Hobart$5500%
Darwin$6500%
Canberra$685-0.7%
All capital cities$630+12.7%
Combined regional$540+8%

What is the average rent for a unit in Australia?

As for capital city unit prices, Sydney is still the most expensive city for renters looking for units, with the median unit price coming in at $700 per week.

The next most expensive capital cities are Brisbane ($590 per week), Canberra ($570 per week), Darwin ($550 per week), Perth ($550 per week), and Melbourne ($550 per week). 

The median weekly rent for a unit in regional Australia is $460 per week. 

Heavy renter competition has left many applicants feeling they have to bid above the advertised price or offer to pay several months’ worth of rent in advance just to secure a rental property, despite prohibitions on rent bidding.

High growth has also made landlords more comfortable passing along outrageous price hikes, especially in states or territories where there aren't any restrictions on how much a landlord can raise the rent, like NSW.

The table below shows the median rents across capital city units, along with the rate of change each market has seen in the past 12 months.

Median unit rents in March 2024 (Source: Domain)

CityMedian unit rentAnnual change
Sydney$700+12.9%
Melbourne$550+14.6%
Brisbane$590+18%
Adelaide$460+9.5%
Perth$550+22.2%
Hobart$460-3.2%
Darwin$550+4.8%
Canberra$570+3.6%
All capital cities$620+12.7%
Combined regional$460+8.2%

Why is rent going up in Australia?

Landlords have faced a lot of pressure to raise rents lately, primarily because Reserve Bank rate hikes and the higher cost of living in general make investment mortgages more expensive.

There has also been a limited rental supply. There hasn't been enough construction of new homes, and an influx of new migrants and professionals moving back to the cities has lowered vacancy rates. With tight supply and heated demand, prices naturally rise.

Will rents keep rising in Australia?

Rental trends will vary between suburbs, so it depends on where you're looking for a place to rent.

PropTrack director of economic research, Cameron Kusher, expects the persistent strong demand and tight rental supply conditions to persist into 2024. 

"The sustained growth in advertised rents is indicative of excess demand for rental properties and insufficient supply, illuminating the desperate need for more rental properties and housing overall," says Kusher.

"Any significant imminent relief to the rental market challenges seems unlikely, with demand expected to remain elevated and supply to remain low leading to higher rents.

"However, we are expecting the slowing trend in rental growth to continue."

Rental vacancy rates Australia

According to Domain's March 2024 Rental Report, rental vacancy rates are at record lows in capital cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, but all of the capitals are well below the 'ideal' range of 2% to 3%, or what it was pre-pandemic (3.3%).

Rental vacancy rates in March 2024 (Source: Domain)

CityRental vacancy rate
Sydney0.8%
Melbourne0.8%
Brisbane0.7%
Adelaide0.3%
Perth0.3%
Hobart0.8%
Darwin1.1%
Canberra1.4%

This limited supply is mostly due to an influx of overseas migrants, especially international students and temporary visa holders, as well as a nationwide stall in residential construction.

How often can a landlord increase rent?

How often a landlord can increase their tenant’s rent depends on which state or territory the property is located in and the type of rental agreement or lease the two parties have.

For example, rents typically can’t be increased during a fixed-term agreement unless this is stated upfront. On the other hand, renters on a periodic agreement (also known as a month-to-month agreement) can see their rent go up every six months so long as their landlord gives 60 days notice.

As for how large a rent rise a landlord can spring on their tenant, the answer is generally as much as can be justified by market conditions and state laws. If rental properties are currently in high demand and there isn’t enough supply, landlords can take advantage of the competition by pushing up prices. 

Can I negotiate my rent?

Tenants are encouraged to negotiate with their property agent and landlord if they propose an excessive rent hike. To negotiate, it's important to arm yourself with as much information as possible, such as:

  • Rental prices on similar properties in the area.
  • The average rent increase in your suburb in the last year.
  • Advice from your local tenant's union. 
  • Your rental ledger, to show you're a reliable tenant.
  • A counter-offer you think is equitable, given the above. 

The best tip for negotiating your rent, however, is to stay level-headed, polite, and impersonal during the negotiation process. While the stakes can feel high, it's important to act in good faith. Both landlords and renters are doing it tough, and you may not be aware of the situation on the other side.

Many landlords would rather accept a smaller rental increase than potentially lose out on weeks, or even months, of rent by having to find a new tenant when you move. Back yourself in the negotiation and know your value.

Keep in mind that your landlord is not entitled to know your financial situation, so keep the rental conversation purely about the fair rent value of the property. If you're experiencing financial hardship, talk to the local tenant's union or a solicitor about negotiating a temporary rental reduction or pause. 

If your landlord and property agent aren't playing ball, you can take it up with your local state or territory property tribunal as an "excessive rent increase". The tribunal can mediate negotiations and, in extreme situations, declare a rent hike as excessive.

However, keep in mind that a landlord isn't obligated to offer you a lease, so if they lose the tribunal hearing, they may simply terminate your rental agreement.