How much of our wages do we spend on rent in Australia?

Angus Kidman 8 February 2016

How much of our wages do we spend on rent in Australia

Sydneysiders are committing close to 40% of their earnings to renting.

If you want to cut down on your rental expenses and start saving for a home, move out of a capital city as fast as you can.

In Sydney, the average rent is a whopping 37.9% of average weekly earnings for NSW. Move into regional NSW and that percentage drops to a rather more manageable 22.4%.

That pattern is repeated across Australia. In Melbourne, the average rent consumes 30.7% of available earnings, which drops to 19.9% in regional Victoria. In Brisbane, the figure is 28.4%, while in regional Queensland it's 23.1%. In Adelaide, 26% of average earnings go on rent, while regional SA sees the figure drop to 19% -- the lowest in the country. In Perth, the figure is 25.6%, while in the rest of Western Australia the percentage drops to 20.7%. And while Hobart residents cough up 25.6% of their average income for the typical rent, that figure falls to 19.9% outside the capital.

finder.com.au calculated those percentages for six states and their capital cities, using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Core Logic. (Figures weren't available for the ACT or Northern Territory.)

Here's the full set of numbers for capital cities:

CityAverage weekly earningsWeekly rentPercentage
Sydney$1,562.30$59237.9%
Melbourne$1,457.30$44830.7%
Brisbane$1,512.20$43028.4%
Adelaide$1,397.80$36426.0%
Perth$1,790.70$45925.6%
Hobart$1,332.10$33625.2%

And here's what you'll pay in regional areas:

StateAverage weekly earningsWeekly rentPercentage
New South Wales$1,562.30$35022.4%
Victoria$1,457.30$29019.9%
Queensland$1,512.20$35023.1%
South Australia$1,397.80$26519.0%
Western Australia$1,790.70$37020.7%
Tasmania$1,332.10$26519.9%

Having to spend 30% or more of your wages on rent can make it almost impossible to save for a mortgage, and is often defined as creating "housing stress". While many people can't realistically relocate and keep their job, moving to a less "fashionable" area can reduce your rent and make that goal more realistic. If you're struggling to even pay your rent, it's definitely time to review your budget and work out areas where you can save.

The number of Australians renting is on the rise. Research by the ABS shows that in 2013-2014 25.7% of households were renting, up from 18% in 1994-1995.

Picture: Shutterstock

More great ideas from finder.com.au

Get a life insurance quote
Get a life insurance quote

Find out what it costs to protect yourself and your family

More info...
Refinancing home loans
Refinancing home loans

Choose from offers with rates as low as 3.39% p.a.

More info...
Google Pixel
Google Pixel

Compare plans for Google's flagship Android phone

More info...
Christmas ideas
Christmas ideas

Visit our Christmas homepage for gift ideas, markets, travel & deals

More info...

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback