Time for a mortgage? Rising rent continues to hound Canberra tenants

By Your Mortgage
There is no reprieve for Canberra tenants as the median weekly asking house and unit rents increased over the March quarter to $470 and $395, respectively. The persisting low vacancy rate at 0.9 per cent for houses and 1.5 per cent for units also indicate that further increases are looming over the horizon.

House rates have increased by 4.4 per cent over the past year while unit rents are also up by 1.3 per cent. Canberra's overall home vacancy rate is at 1.1 per cent – the second lowest of all capital cities next to Hobart.

The figures in Canberra reflect the nation's overall rental market as unit rents also increased in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Hobart. Only Perth and Darwin are experiencing a dip in rental prices. The falling vacancy rates also indicate an ongoing and deepening shortage of rental properties. This has clearly been exacerbated by the sharp decline in investor activity since the mid-2015 as a consequence of tighter bank lending conditions. High levels of migration and low numbers of first home buyers are also keeping the demand higher than the supply.

The chronic shortage of house rentals and high rents are also pushing tenants into the apartment market, where there are more affordable home choices. This might serve as an impetus for people to secure their own mortgages for a new property rather than continue to rent. It is actually the best time to secure a home loan, especially considering the low mortgage interest rates at the moment.