The rental market is booming across Canberra and greater Queanbeyan, as the New Year signals a fresh start for many tenants. January tends to experience a peak in activity, with an influx of lease renewals and moves for some tenants.

“Canberra is particularly active as students seek to secure a home ahead of the new university year and graduate jobs commence,” said Nicola Powell, data scientist for the Domain Group.  

Over January, 1,630 properties were leased across Canberra and greater Queanbeyan, an increase of 31.4% from December. Stock also increased from December by 26.3% to 1,461 properties, according to the latest data from

On the other hand, rental rates are on the rise, with the median house rent rising by $40 over the past year to $530 a week. The median rent for a unit rose by $35 to $420 a week. “As affordability becomes stretched, some tenants will be forced to move in search of a lower price point,” Powell said.

Tenants need to prepare themselves for more potential price increases as vacancy rates remain low. Even though rental rates have risen over the past year, tenants are forking out the same for a unit this year as they did six years ago.

“The struggle to save for a first-home deposit is real but data shows tenants leasing a unit could be better off than they were over half a decade ago,” Powell said. “The median weekly unit rent was $420 during January 2011, [which is] the same price being paid in January 2017. The median weekly house rent during January 2011 was $500.”