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Rent reduction: The 51 suburbs seeing 20% drops

Posted: 29 August 2020 12:00 pm News

A row of terrace houses

Now is the perfect time to ask your landlord for a rent reduction – but how much should you ask for?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created havoc across Australia's rental market, with multiple factors applying simultaneous downward pressure on rents. These include thousands of students moving home due to universities shifting to online-only learning, hundreds of Airbnb properties hitting the rental market as a result of the travel ban and over 800,000 Australians hitting the dole queues.

What if you are currently renting, out of contract and have not been offered any rent reduction? The reality is that you are likely paying more than market value for your property and could save some serious cash by making the case for a discount.

But how much should you ask for and what is the best way to approach your landlord? In this article, I'll discuss the average drops across houses and apartments in every Australian city, the suburbs where you would be entitled to ask for a 10% or even 20% reduction in rent and what to do before you approach your landlord.

How rents are falling in capital cities

CoreLogic tracks the median advertised rent across the last 12 months in every Australian city and suburb. Finder analysis of this data shows that the median price has fallen in the most recently published data. Apartments showed the biggest drops. This table shows the month-on-month decline of the 12-month average (click on a column header to sort).

CityApartmentsHouses
Melbourne-6%-2%
Sydney-6%-5%
Brisbane-4%-2%
Hobart-4%-4%
Perth-3%-1%
Darwin-3%-6%
Canberra-2%-2%
Adelaide-2%-1%

Melbourne and Sydney lead the pack with 6% rent reductions on average, with Hobart and Brisbane not far behind with 4%. A couple of things to note here. First, these figures represent the change in the 12-month rolling average. Second, these figures represent the decline between April and May this year, as this is the most recently published data. With Melbourne heading back into lockdown in August, there has likely been further downward pressure on the rental market there. In other words, the real-life drop in asking rent is likely to be higher than these numbers indicate.

The downward pressure on rental prices for houses has been more gentle, with only Darwin matching the 6% decline seen in Melbourne and Sydney's apartment market. While these rent reductions are minimal, things get a lot more dramatic when looking at individual suburbs. There are 51 suburbs in Australia where the average rent has fallen by more than 20% and hundreds more where the figure has dropped by between 10% and 20%. Details of those will follow shortly.

How to ask for a rent reduction

What's the best approach if you live in one of the above suburbs? There are a few essential aspects to investigate before you call your landlord.

  • Assess your payment history. Tenants with a solid payment history will have better luck asking for a discount. If you have missed any payments in the last 12 months, your argument for a discount may be weakened.
  • Check live rental prices in your area. Have a look online for properties similar to yours in your suburb. If they are all being offered at a lower rent than you are paying, bring these listings to your landlord as evidence for your claim that you are paying above the market rate.
  • Know your credit score. Landlords have access to some credit information on potential tenants. A good credit score means both that your landlord will be more enthusiastic to keep your business and you will have a much higher chance of being accepted at a different property (potentially at a lower rent!) if you did decide to move. Getting your score for free is easy, just download the Finder App.
  • Get the Finder app for FREE and check your credit score now

  • Be polite. Most landlords in Australia are small-scale property owners who will also be paying mortgages. Be gentle but firm with your case, especially if you want to maintain a strong relationship with your landlord in the future.

The suburbs witnessing the highest rent reductions

Below is a list of every suburb in Australia which has experienced a 10% or 20% drop on average advertised rent. If you live in any of these areas, you could potentially ask your landlord for a significant discount. Good luck!

New South Wales

20% drop – Apartments: Canley Heights, Dean Park, Eden, Edensor Park, Forresters Beach, Pagewood, Villawood, West Pennant Hills.

Houses: Bellevue Hill, Berrigan, Boambee, Chittaway Point, Coolamon, Cronulla, Curl Curl, Darlington Point, Dunbogan, Ebenezer, Kenthurst, Kirribilli, Kogarah Bay, Lilli Pilli, Macmasters Beach, Millers Point, Mollymook, Nords Wharf, North Haven, Tamarama, Tenterfield, Willoughby East, Wollstonecraft.

10% drop – Apartments: Arncliffe, Berry, Blakehurst, Chifley, Coniston, Darlington, Dundas, Earlwood, Ettalong Beach, Frenchs Forest, Gerroa, Gregory Hills, Jindabyne, Kanahooka, Kingsgrove, Lake Cathie, Lavender Bay, Lilyfield, Mangerton, Metford, Moorebank, Mount Austin, Narraweena, Narwee, North St Marys, Northbridge, Old Toongabbie, Pennant Hills, Potts Hill, Riverstone, Sandringham, Seven Hills, Shoal Bay, South Grafton, South Windsor, Speers Point, Tarrawanna, Urunga, Vaucluse, Watsons Bay, West Tamworth.

Houses: Balgowlah Heights, Batehaven, Bayview, Berala, Bilgola Plateau, Black Head, Bondi, Bondi Junction, Bonville, Branxton, Broadmeadow, Burradoo, Byron Bay, Cabramatta West, Callala Beach, Campsie, Caringbah South, Castlecrag, Coogee, Coonamble, Cremorne, Darling Point, Darlinghurst, Davidson, Dharruk, Dover Heights, Drummoyne, Dundas Valley, East Gosford, East Kempsey, Eastern Creek, Eden, Elanora Heights, Ellalong, Emerton, Fairlight, Fennell Bay, Freemans Reach, Greenhills Beach, Greenwell Point, Gwynneville, Hawks Nest, Holmesville, Holroyd, Hunters Hill, Hurlstone Park, Kariong, Kearns, Kembla Grange, Kemps Creek, Kilaben Bay, Kingsford, Kirrawee, Koolewong, Kurnell, Leonay, Leura, Lindfield, Llandilo, Malabar, Mardi, Mcgraths Hill, Merewether, Moruya Heads, Neutral Bay, Newcastle East, Normanhurst, North Avoca, North Bondi, North Wollongong, Parklea, Point Clare, Prairiewood, Pymble, Pyrmont, Queanbeyan East, Queenscliff, Randwick, Redfern, Rosebery, Rosehill, Sandringham, South Albury, South Granville, St Ives, St Ives Chase, Strathfield, Suffolk Park, Telopea, the Rock, Tomakin, Turramurra, Vaucluse, Wakeley, Warrawee, Warrimoo, Waverley, Waverton, Werrington, West Albury, West Wollongong, Whale Beach, Wiley Park, Willoughby, Woollahra, Yass, Yattalunga.

Victoria

20% drop – Apartments: Kooyong, North Geelong, Seaholme, Sorrento.

Houses: Cape Paterson, Portsea, Somers, Warburton.

10% drop - Apartments: Aberfeldie, Alphington, Anglesea, Black Rock, Brighton East, Brunswick West, Bulleen, Donvale, Essendon West, Hamilton, Hampton, Jan Juc, Keilor, Mccrae, Middle Park, Mount Waverley, Parkdale, Portland, Sandringham, South Geelong, Southbank, Williamstown.

Houses: Albert Park, Ashburton, Balnarring, Bentleigh, Black Rock, Bonbeach, Brighton, Brighton East, Canterbury, Carlton, Caulfield East, Eaglemont, East Melbourne, Essendon North, Fairfield, Glen Iris, Hampton, Hampton East, Hawthorn, Hawthorn East, Highett, Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe East, Kalimna, Marlo, Mccrae, Mckinnon, Mentone, Millgrove, Newtown, Niddrie, Ormond, Park Orchards, Port Campbell, Port Melbourne, Princes Hill, Rippleside, Sandringham, Seaholme, South Geelong, St Kilda West, Templestowe, Waterways, Williamstown North.

Queensland

20% drop – Apartments: Craiglie, Kin Kora, Mansfield, Shoal Point.

Houses: Campwin Beach, Chandler.

10% drop – Apartments: Algester, Beaudesert, Belgian Gardens, Bellbird Park, Camp Hill, Clinton, East Innisfail, Everton Hills, Gracemere, Holland Park, Holland Park West, Kalinga, Kawana, Lammermoor, Millbank, Moore Park Beach, Mount Pleasant, Narangba, Newmarket, Noosa Heads, Oxenford, Pelican Waters, Roma, Sarina, Scarborough, Soldiers Hill, South Townsville, the Gap, Walkerston, Wandal, West Gladstone, Yeerongpilly.

Houses: Airlie Beach, Albion, Armstrong Beach, Ashfield, Barney Point, Blackbutt, Booral, Boyland, Bulimba, Cardwell, Chapel Hill, Chelmer, Currumbin Valley, Fig Tree Pocket, Hamilton, Kalinga, Mandalay, Maroochy River, Middlemount, Newmarket, Noosa Heads, Sadliers Crossing, Sarina Beach, Shelly Beach, Sherwood, Stuart, Tallebudgera Valley, Teneriffe, Yungaburra.

Western Australia

20% drop – Apartments: Wembley Downs.

Houses: Kununurra, Watermans Bay.

10% drop – Apartments: Applecross, Ashby, Booragoon, Camillo, Daglish, Falcon, Medina, Middle Swan, Mount Pleasant, Peppermint Grove, Victoria Park, West Leederville.

Houses: Applecross, Ashfield, Beverley, Brockman, Churchlands, City Beach, Connolly, East Perth, Guildford, Karawara, Myaree, Stoneville, Utakarra, Waterford, Woodlands.

South Australia

20% drop – Houses: Hazelwood Park, Malvern, Stepney.

10% drop – Apartments: Paradise, Port Noarlunga, Rostrevor, Seacombe Gardens, Semaphore Park, Whyalla, Whyalla Playford.

Houses: Highgate, Kensington, Marino, Mitcham, Novar Gardens, Pasadena, Quorn, Risdon Park South, Semaphore South, St Georges, St Peters, Underdale, Walkerville, Whyalla Norrie, Whyalla Playford.

Tasmania

10% drop – Apartments: Burnie, East Devonport, Hobart, Longford, Romaine, Taroona, Youngtown, Zeehan.

Houses: Beauty Point, Brooklyn, Huonville, Orford, Perth, Zeehan.

Australian Capital Territory

10% drop – Apartments: Weston.

Houses: Hackett, Hawker, Isaacs, Wright.

Australian Capital Territory

10% drop – Apartments: Weston.

Houses: Hackett, Hawker, Isaacs, Wright.

Northern Territory

20% drop – Houses: Desert Springs.

10% Drop – Apartments: Araluen, Braitling, Larrakeyah, Ludmilla.

Houses: Larrakeyah.

Graham Cooke's Insights Blog examines issues affecting the Australian consumer. It appears regularly on finder.com.au. For regular updates check out twitter @gcooke42.

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