Rent Rabbit report highlights severe rental stress across NSW suburbs

Families across NSW are in crisis mode as they shell out more than half their weekly income to pay the rent in markets with limited housing supply and soaring prices.

A report commissioned by rental review site RentRabbit found there were 20 suburbs in NSW considered in “desperate” need of more housing, where tenants were in severe rental stress.

Rental or housing stress is defined by a household needing to set aside more than one third of their income to put a roof over their heads.

The Rental Crisis Report showed there were 13 unit or house markets in NSW where renters were forking out 50 percent more of their income each week to pay the rent.

Renters are forking out close to two-thirds of their income to pay the rent.


Households in a further seven suburbs were parting with 43-48 percent of their income.

Limited housing supply meant renters had slim pickings when it came to finding something more affordable.

Each of the 20 markets had fewer than four vacant properties for rent, with vacancy rates close to zero.

This meant the vast majority of rentals were filled within three weeks of being listed.

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HOUSING STOCK

The rental crisis has emerged in NSW.


High demand and a shortage of supply meant rents had surged in all the suburbs listed, with 16 experiencing double digit growth in the space of one year.

Of the suburbs, 90 percent were in regional centres, with most being further than two hours’ drive from Sydney.

This meant tenants needing to move to more affordable housing were limited to a small geographical region in order to avoid changing jobs or schools.

Several parts of the Tweed Valley have seen price increases over the past year.


It comes as the Reserve Bank warns the cost of living could rise as high as 7 per cent by the end of the year – more than double the RBA’s target of 2-3 per cent.

Households in the Tweed Valley house market of Banora Point suffered the highest level of rental stress, with tenants spending 64 percent of their weekly household earnings on rent.

The weekly median rent was up 13 percent from this time last year, growing from $615 to $695.

Renters are paying about 64 percent of their income on rent in Banora Point.


The unit market in nearby Tweed Heads South came second on the list following a 20 per cent price growth from $410 to $495 a week.

Households there were spending 62 percent of their average weekly income on rent, leaving just $303 each week for food, utilities and all other expenses.

South of Sydney, in Ulladulla, house rents had soared close to 18 per cent from $420 to $495, forcing tenants to pay 61 per cent of their average earnings of $813 on rent.

RentRbit.com.au cofounder Ben Pretty said this constituted a “crisis” by NSW renters.

RentRabbit co-founder Ben Pretty.


“There are many suburbs across New South Wales where vacancy rates are very low and

tenants are struggling to find somewhere to live,” he said.

“For affluent tenants in more privileged suburbs, they at least have more options in terms of where they can live, especially as many of them are knowledge workers who can work remotely.”

“But for the many tenants who have low household incomes and who live in

socio-economically disadvantaged areas, they’re really struggling right now and have very

few options.”

Bills pilling up and no money to pay them

Renters are facing housing stress as the cost of energy and groceries soar.


He said while there were “no easy answers,” he hoped the federal and state governments could work together to find a solution to the issue.

Top 20 Rental Crisis Suburbs

rank suburb postcode Property type weekly median rent Rent as share of household income
1 Banora Point 2486 Casa, Lar $695 64%
two Tweed Heads South 2486 unit $495 62%
3 Nambucca Heads 2447 Casa, Lar $450 61%
4 Ulladulla 2539 Casa, Lar $495 61%
5 Maclean 2463 Casa, Lar $460 56%
6 West Kempsey 2440 Casa, Lar $410 54%
7 Wauchope 2446 Casa, Lar $490 53%
8 unanderra 2526 Casa, Lar $500 53%
9 gateshead 2290 Casa, Lar $480 52%
10 handrail 2518 Casa, Lar $625 51%
11 Belmont 2280 Casa, Lar $520 50%
12 Barrack Heights 2528 Casa, Lar $540 50%
13 East Lismore 2480 Casa, Lar $495 50%
14 Casino 2470 Casa, Lar $420 48%
15 Bass Hill 2197 Casa, Lar $580 47%
16 Condell Park 2200 Casa, Lar $650 47%
17 Tenterfield 2372 Casa, Lar $365 46%
18 Albion Park Rail 2527 Casa, Lar $525 44%
19 cessnock 2325 Casa, Lar $430 43%
20 Oak Flats 2529 Casa, Lar $550 43%

Source: RentRabbit Rental Crisis Report June 2022.

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