Queensland one of Australia’s worst places to rent

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

The Queensland rental market is one of the harshest places to be a renter nationwide, according to recently released data.

The state’s 25 worst-affected suburbs for renters have the joint lowest vacancy rate in the country, alongside the second-highest average rent increase since 2022.

Suburbs in the Brisbane metropolitan area are some of the worst hit, with the weighted average rent in Logan Central increasing by nearly 20 per cent since last year.

Meanwhile, Yarabillbah and Chermside saw their rents increase by 16 per cent each.

Vacancy rates low

Static vacancy rates further add to renter’s pain, with just 0.58 per cent of advertised properties still on the market after 21 days across those worst affected suburbs.

Robina, Durack and Westcourt have some of the tightest availability rates statewide, with a vacancy rate of just 0.54 per cent.

Rental despair here to stay

Crown Realty International rental accounts manager Bishoy Youssef told BuildIT Queensland’s rental crisis is caused by a combination of factors, which make a quick-fix solution unlikely.

“The current crisis is due to a perfect storm of low housing supply levels, high interstate migration, longer tenancies and less shared tenancies now people are working from home and wanting more of their own space,” he said.

“While these conditions are positive from an investor’s point of view, no one wants to see people struggling to find a place to live or living unsustainably outside of their means.”

“More needs to be done to support the construction industry to address the supply issue so we can provide more affordable housing across the state.”

Queenslanders spend over one third of their income on rent

The Rental Pain Index by Suburbtrends, an independent property analytics group, was released last month and uses a comprehensive methodology to compile data on rental increases, affordability, and vacancy rates, scored on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the worst conditions for renters.

The data showed Queensland residents suffered one of the highest ‘Rental Pain’ scores of any rental market nationwide, only surpassed by Western Australia and South Australia.

The Index’s affordability metric showed renters in most of Queensland’s worst 25 suburbs are spending more than a third of their income on weekly rent, an unsustainable long-term threshold according to property experts.

Suburbtrends founder and Senior Data Scientist Kent Lardner said the toxic combination of high rents, low vacancies, and struggling affordability meant Queensland renters were feeling the property pinch.

“Vacancy rates under 1% in most of these suburbs show the immense strain on housing availability. When you’re allocating nearly half your income on rent, the financial stress becomes unbearable,” Mr Kent explained.

“Policymakers and stakeholders need to acknowledge this growing crisis. The relentless climb in rent and plummeting vacancy rates are not just statistics but indicators of a quality of life that is rapidly deteriorating for Australian renters.”

Mr Youssef says Gold Coast suburbs like Robina were victim to additional interstate migration pressures that had heavily impacted supply and demand.

“We still see many people trying to move to South East Queensland, particularly the Gold Coast, making it one of the most sought-after places to live in the country,” he told BuildIT.

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.