Hobart the Least Affordable Capital for Renters, Report Finds

Hobart is Australia’s least affordable city for tenants, a new report has found.

The biannual study, published by National Shelter Community Sector Banking and SGS Economics and Planning, revealed that Hobart has overtaken Sydney as the country’s most unaffordable capital.

Once seen as a budget alternative to the mainland cities, Hobart has risen to the top of the Rental Affordability Index (RAI) with unprecedented real estate sales boom, interstate migration, tourism bursts, low incomes and an increase in former rental properties being offered as short-term accommodation, according to ABC.

“Rents in Tasmania are now on par with the rest of Australia, however average Tasmanian households earn over $300 a week less than mainland households,” said SGS partner Ellen Witte. “Rental affordability in Tasmania has fallen to its lowest point since the index began in 2015.”

The report showed the average Hobart tenant spending 29 per cent of their income on rent, compared to Sydney’s 27 per cent.

Greater Sydney remained “critically unaffordable” for low-income households and “extremely unaffordable” for single pensioners. “The average household must travel over 20 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD, to areas such as Blacktown and Liverpool, to find acceptable rents,” the report said.

Melbourne tenants spend an average of 24 per cent of their wages on rent, which the RAI classified as “acceptable”. However, rental unaffordability was still imminent, “spreading outwards” from the city centre.

Perth took the title of the most affordable capital city. With an RAI of 145, the average Perth household spends 21 per cent of their incomes on rent.