Revealed: Australia's worst electorates for rental stress

Research reveals the regions with the highest rental stress levels.

Revealed: Australia's worst electorates for rental stress

A seat-by-seat analysis of housing affordability throughout Australia has revealed the 20 electorates with the highest rental stress.

Researchers compared rents and incomes across electorates to identify the number of households in rental stress. Analysis of this data revealed that western Sydney, the NSW north coast and south-eastern Queensland are where Australian renters are doing it toughest.

Rental stress refers to households with an income in the bottom 40 per cent of Australia’s income distribution, those who are paying more than 30 per cent of their income in housing costs.

Research conducted by the University of NSW for the Everybody’s Home campaign shows that rental stress is highest in outer suburban and regional seats, which are seen as traditionally affordable areas. The analysis shatters the myth that housing affordability is an issue only in inner Sydney and Melbourne.

“The data shows that housing affordability is just not an inner city phenomenon experienced by millennials. In fact, the traditionally affordable areas of western Sydney, and regional NSW and Queensland have more renters doing it tough than anywhere else in the country,” said National Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson, Kate Colvin.

“Marginal regional seats, such as Richmond on the NSW north coast and Gilmore on the NSW south coast, have the highest rates of low income earners struggling in the private rental market – which should be a wake-up call to all parties that they can’t afford to ignore housing as an issue.

“The data also shows that rental stress is being felt acutely in traditionally affordable outer suburban seats, such as Kingston in Adelaide, Calwell in Melbourne’s north, Braddon in Tasmania, and Burt in Perth’s south east.

“While rents in inner city seats in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are high, the comparatively higher incomes of inner city renters allow them to better absorb housing costs.”

Ms Colvin believes that almost 811,000 Australian households in rental stress are being overlooked by governments at all levels.

“Research by the Australian Housing and Research Institute (AHURI) clearly shows that up-front investment in social and affordable housing is the most effective way to improve rental affordability and ensure there is enough affordable rental housing for low-paid workers as our population grows,” she said.

“Housing is the single biggest cost-of-living item for almost every Australian household. This election, we need all parties to announce real policies that show they’re taking the issue seriously.”

Do you live in any of these suburbs? Are you surprised that typically affordable suburbs are where the highest rental stress is being felt?

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    COMMENTS

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    Sundays
    2nd May 2019
    10:32am
    I live on the Sunshine Coast, Fairfax and Fisher. Once upon a time housing was affordable but now it is very expensive. Rents are also very high but wages low. I know retirees who are renters but have moved because they could no longer afford to live here.

    In relation to Western Sydney, investors have put rents up and this current Government has kept wages low, casualised the workforce and no one can live on Newstart.
    Anonymous
    2nd May 2019
    3:04pm
    Sorry Sundays, the wages are set by the Fair Work Commission, not the government of the day. I find it interesting that Shorten is going to increase the wages of childcare workers by 20% as he claims that they are underpaid. The increase won't be borne by the employers which will increase parents contribution but will be paid by government (read taxpayers). This will set a very dangerous precedent if passed by the Senate as a flow-on will most certainly follow.

    As an annual comparison, childcare workers average $53,877. retail $45,666, aged care $44,031, hospitality $42,455 and cleaning $41,743. It can be seen that childcare workers are not as badly off as some industries which, it is certain, will also claim a 20% pay rise which will be made using government (read taxpayers) money. More unfunded promises from Shorten.
    Sundays
    2nd May 2019
    3:37pm
    If only it was that simple Old Man. This Government has allowed the rise of sites such as Airtasker where young people bid for jobs at lower than the going rate. Called the gig economy and for many the only work they can get. While there is less unemployment there is an increase in underemployment, so people take what they can get.

    The increase in Enterprise bargaining has meant employers have stalled, in some cases over two years before offering very low wage increases prompting even the Reserve Bank to say wages should rise.

    Childcare workers average between $21 to $25 an hour, lower than the figures you quote and considering many are not full time, or permanent it does make them very low paid indeed. Remember, these are trained positions and need a certificate three. The comparison should be with other professions who must have the same qualification.
    Sundays
    2nd May 2019
    4:23pm
    You can seek further qualifications in the jobs you used but not mandatory. Childcare cert 3 is a minimum mandatory requirement as are some basic trades paying 50% more
    Anonymous
    2nd May 2019
    4:24pm
    Old Man...Too many workers are not being paid by their employer. So many hospitality workers have been unpaid and ripped off by their employers screaming poor while they live in their million dollar mansions...Clive Palmer is another typical example. Australians need to start joining unions to fight against these crooks because the Liberal Government supports crooks. Morrison is in bed with Palmer.
    Anonymous
    2nd May 2019
    4:29pm
    OK Sundays, we're not comparing apples with apples. There is a minimum wage structure in Australia and with that is a suite of conditions. No employer can pay less than the minimum wage nor can any EBA strip away any conditions that are legislated. Sure, there are those who negotiate a wage which is higher than the minimum and there are positions especially in management where no award applies but those are up to the individual. Any employer breaching conditions will be fined and forced to backpay as has been done recently with a number of employers trying to get around the system.
    Sundays
    2nd May 2019
    7:45pm
    OM, there was a piece on the 7.30 Report tonight which explained underemployment. No wonder these people are under rental stress.
    leek
    2nd May 2019
    10:54am
    Intersting, No Victoria areas in the top 20. My 22yo daughter was telling me about managers at her work who actually live in plcaes like Bendigo and commute to Melbournes CBD for work.
    Then last night I met a lady who lives in lakes Entrance but her and her husband I think rent in the burbs Mond-Friday for work- quite a few people do this as well. The people coming from regional centres for work- thier work days must be so so long. I feel sorry for the younger people now. I could afford to rent a 1 bedroom flat on my own on a lowly Insurance clerk wages in the 70/80's until I bought my first flat.
    sunnyOz
    2nd May 2019
    12:15pm
    Sorry - but I do not feel sorry for many of the younger people now. Perhaps if they did what many older people did - then they would not be 'crying poor' so much.
    They only want to do very specific jobs - preferably jobs that involve no work - and expect to be betting paid a CEO's salary within the first week. Look at how many kids who - when asked what they want to be - answer 'celebrity' or 'social influencer' - as if they are jobs! They want to buy everything on Zip-pay and After-pay, then cry poor when they can't pay it back. Want to always holiday in Bali/Europe, and a few times a year, etc. Only want to buy a house with 4 bedrooms, media room, 2 bathrooms, pool, double garage, designer furniture, etc - instead of buying a dump of a place cheaply and slowly doing it up.
    Those younger people who buckle down, use the brain they are given, and strive to succeed - no matter what they do - they are the rare exceptions. A house in my street has just been bought by a young 22yo. Lovely young guy - works as a carpenter, started when he was 16. Still drives an old ute he bought for $2,000 - but as he says, does the job. He doesn't need to buy a $50,000 work ute. Besides, as he says, no-one wants to steal it! He saved everything he earned (whilst sharing a rent place, not at home with parents who live in remote Qld), didn't go overseas, out drinking every night. Then did odd jobs through Airtasker on weekends, which he found very lucrative for people who worked during the week. So he had a substantial deposit to buy his modest home - which he is slowly renovating and installing a pool. He was saying how his mates used to tease him because he was a boring home body - but they aren't saying anything now as they are mostly all broke, driving expensive depreciating cars, getting drunk, having car accidents, trying drugs, losing jobs, etc.
    That's what many - older - people did. I worked my butt off so as to buy a house and have it mortgage free..single, low paying jobs, never a holiday, owned 20yo car, but I did any job, every job I could find. I was determined to be mortgage free when I went on the pension - now, I see it was SO worth it.
    KSS
    2nd May 2019
    1:06pm
    I have to disagree leek. My workplace is a good example of why. We have a member of staff who lives on the Central Coast about 80km north of Sydney and another who lives on the Northern Beaches about 20km north of Sydney. Both travelling by public transport, it takes the person from the Central Coast less time to get to work than it does the person travelling only a 25% of the distance.And all due to the over population, congestion it causes and poor infrastructure.

    SunnyOz, I have to agree with you. it took me 25 years by myself foregoing all those holidays, eating out, cinema tickets etc to save a decent deposit to buy a run down 2 bed unit in a less desirable but more affordable area. And most of my furniture is still the same second-hand refurbished items bought more than 25 years ago. And people now call me 'lucky'! Nothing of the sort. As you say, most people my age did the same thing, made sacrifices, and struggled, and went without so they could afford their home. It was and is a matter of priorities. That young man you mention is cut from the same cloth and shows that even today, home ownership is possible. And for the record, I only bought my unit 7 years ago
    MICK
    2nd May 2019
    1:48pm
    Its not often can ever give a right wing poster a big tick but your life sounds a lot like ours: one of hard work, going without many things, little leisure time, saving money rather than spending it and valuing the goods we have.
    Millennials seem to think society owes them a house because they expect lifestyle AND buying a house. God help the little precious kids if they had to stump up a 50% deposit and were required to pay interest rates of 17%. I fee so sorry for the whining little malcontents. What are they going to do when the recession which is coming shortly arrives?

    On the point of it taking longer to get into the City from the Northern Beaches than the Central Coast I strongly doubt that one. Cheers
    KSS
    2nd May 2019
    1:51pm
    Clearly MICK you don't live in either place!
    inextratime
    2nd May 2019
    2:30pm
    The generalisation in these posts is staggering. Unless you've carried out your own survey interviewing at least 2000 young people how can you generalise so liberally 'Sunny Oz' ?
    Ah, maybe you've been listening to the media !

    I have a 25 year old daughter that works her butt off, saves every penny she can and is still finding it hard to save after paying off hex fees. I'm sure many young people are in the same boat but I'm not going to make sweeping statements and I don't take any notice of the media.
    inextratime
    2nd May 2019
    2:30pm
    The generalisation in these posts is staggering. Unless you've carried out your own survey interviewing at least 2000 young people how can you generalise so liberally 'Sunny Oz' ?
    Ah, maybe you've been listening to the media !

    I have a 25 year old daughter that works her butt off, saves every penny she can and is still finding it hard to save after paying off hex fees. I'm sure many young people are in the same boat but I'm not going to make sweeping statements and I don't take any notice of the media.
    Rae
    2nd May 2019
    3:49pm
    I always though youth was the best time to be poor.

    I remember living in a dump in Cooks Hill with 5 other people. One time we could not find 2 cents in the whole house or between us for a box of matches to light the gas heater for a bath.

    We laughed about that for quite some time.

    Do young people really think we actually lived like they do back when we were their age.?

    I can't ever remember blaming anyone else either.
    KSS
    2nd May 2019
    4:04pm
    inextratime, true your observation that the young man described by SunnyOz, and indeed my own story do not constitute scientific research, but then so is your comment about your daughter just an anecdote and equally not representative of an entire generation.

    The truth is that people can and do still buy property, many of them young first time buyers, and some even building a portfolio of several properties. There are still others who buy in one area, rent it out and then rent themselves in an area they want to live in whilst building their own wealth for down the track. Then there are others who do nothing to advance their cause and then complain about those who have.

    Naturally you will defend your child, that's your job. But she is 25. I too couldn't afford to buy anywhere when I was 25 so nothing changed there. I did not buy my unit until my late 50s! The point it is all about choices and priorities. We all have a bucket of money and its up to us what we do with it. Some spend up while they can, others squirrel it away. Others do a bit of both. And to add another bit of perspective, when my parents were 25, they had 2 kids, my Father worked all day and studied at night. They used to give a neighbour a shilling every payday so that when they ran out of money before the next pay day, they could get that shilling back for the gas meter. And no, they couldn't afford to buy a house at 25 either!

    The point is you cannot expect to have things at 25 that others have worked 40 years for. That is unreasonable and points to the entitlement attitude that the young are accused of today.
    Farside
    2nd May 2019
    9:06pm
    Inextratime may have used a family anecdote as a repudiation of the hearsay example used by SunnyOz however this does not make his or her observation concerning the sweeping generalisation and judgemental comments any less valid. Do not be surprised when the millennials return similar concern for welfare of senior citizens when this is the level of respect showed them.
    MICK
    2nd May 2019
    1:42pm
    Ordinary Australians are welcome to live on the streets but we apparently HAVE TO HAVE tax cuts for our wealthy and more coming in the way of company tax cuts. WHY?????
    Triss
    2nd May 2019
    2:11pm
    The WHY is because we keep voting in multimillionaires who cut taxes because it benefits themselves. However many millions of dollars they have they have to have more. Voters who vote them in are used as a means to get richer, doesn’t matter how many starve on the way because there are always plenty more coming up behind them.
    Anonymous
    2nd May 2019
    2:49pm
    What do tax cuts have to do with a shortage of rental housing MICK? Seems you take each and every opportunity in this forum to spread your rubbish about tax cuts. The truth of tax cuts for individuals is that they are a percentage of their income, not a fixed amount, which is the fairest way to give relief from taxes. The top 10% of taxpayers pay about 50% of the tax income and a reduction of tax won't change that percentage.

    The link to confirm this is: https://theconversation.com/factcheck-is-50-of-all-income-tax-in-australia-paid-by-10-of-the-working-population-45229

    As regards company tax cuts, companies in Australia are the employers and the ones who create jobs. Governments don't create jobs, they give companies the incentive to grow and therefore create jobs that are needed to support the growth. You always seem to overlook that Labor was in government for 6 years and did nothing to change the tax structures.
    Anonymous
    2nd May 2019
    3:48pm
    Get rid of negative gearing.
    MICK
    2nd May 2019
    5:28pm
    OM - we've been through your deceitful comment before. You fully understand that the top end of town earns perhaps 50 times+ what the average worker earns. Give mo figures as a PERCENTAGE and we'll be comparing apples with apples. Of course you can't/won't do that can you?
    This election IS about climate change and TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY. Lets not lose sight of where this is heading.....and for the record I won't help you bury the topic before the election. That would be as deceitful as some of your posts.
    Enjoy the campaign.
    Incognito
    2nd May 2019
    1:54pm
    Where I live they are tearing down all the old rental properties and building mini mansions that no one can afford to rent. People have to go into big debts to buy them. We have a new area opened up and most of the land is bought by local developers. I am in one of the last affordable houses with rent rising every year, not sure how long I can afford to live here but at the moment it is cheaper than moving because there is nothing else available. More than half of my income now goes to rent. Less money to spend elsewhere effects the local economy.
    Farside
    2nd May 2019
    9:08pm
    Are the McMansions sitting vacant?
    Incognito
    2nd May 2019
    9:31pm
    Most are holiday houses, so yes most of the time.
    Farside
    2nd May 2019
    11:04pm
    If they are holiday houses then they would be unlikely to ease the rental housing crisis.
    Incognito
    2nd May 2019
    11:10pm
    What I mean Farside is that they pull down all the old rentals and build holiday houses, because they can earn more money renting it out for holiday's rather than permanent and owners often use them too in between times.
    Karl Marx
    2nd May 2019
    11:29pm
    And one of the reasons that negative gearing should go
    Incognito
    2nd May 2019
    11:41pm
    Yes SFR does not seem to be helping the rental market. I have rented all my life and what I have seen happen in the last 5 years is unbelievable. I never had a problem finding rentals in the past and often had a lot of choice. People did not mind sitting on their investments and waiting until their properties rose in value before selling or just renting it out long term, now it is buy and sell, buy and demolish and build, buy and renovate and sell, or buy, renovate and put high price rental on them. The builders and property developers around here are having a lot of opportunity to build their wealth fast. Real Estate agents are doing just fine too.
    pb tom
    2nd May 2019
    2:01pm
    Was speaking to my doctors receptionist the other day about this subject. She said that they would be looking for a house in the new year. I said what is wrong with now. Her reply they would not be back from their overseas trip until Christmas.
    Triss
    2nd May 2019
    2:18pm
    Give her the benefit of the doubt, pb Tom, they might have decided on one last holiday before they skimp and scrape for the next few years to pay off their mortgage.
    KSS
    2nd May 2019
    3:58pm
    And they might not Triss.
    Anonymous
    2nd May 2019
    4:31pm
    pb tom.....She is probably waiting for the prices to go further down. The Chinese are finding other places to launder their money.
    Triss
    2nd May 2019
    4:49pm
    What a little Debbie Downer you are, KSS.
    pb tom
    2nd May 2019
    2:01pm
    Was speaking to my doctors receptionist the other day about this subject. She said that they would be looking for a house in the new year. I said what is wrong with now. Her reply they would not be back from their overseas trip until Christmas.
    Anonymous
    2nd May 2019
    2:13pm
    I had about 2 overseas trip when I was in the workforce...yep the younger generations have their priorities right, an overseas trip every year and these days you can travel now and pay later..could go on with their other spending habits but we all hear and see what they wear and where they spend their money on clubbing eating out etc.
    MICK
    2nd May 2019
    5:30pm
    So why can't millennials afford a house? Is it those awful boomer parents who won't mortgage their own homes to stump 'em up?
    Karl Marx
    2nd May 2019
    11:51pm
    Simple Mick, What do they want, "we want a 4 bedroom all with built ins, 2 bathroom, double garage, living & family area, fully landscaped house" When do you want it. "Now" lol
    Chris B T
    2nd May 2019
    2:22pm
    Where is our Retail/Textile Industry, Manufacturing Industry, Abattoirs etc all but gone these were the large employers with modest to reasonable pay to hours worked.
    Both LNP and Labor Governments sold out the Dream in 70's.
    Without Large Employment Providers with a Decent Wage for Hours Worked.
    Then have Professional/Higher Education for Jobs to which are not enough to go around. This is why there are so many Problems.
    There are so many people chasing the lower end Jobs and the Employer can "Cherry Pick"
    Then Governments Retreating From Public Housing as well.
    Then as The Above have stated Priorities of Spending and Preferred Living Places.
    I believe it is only Going To Become Worse, will not matter who Govern's Next.
    There only Self Serving Bunch with Little Regard for Anyone Except Prior To Election.
    Then BS flows freely and My BS is better Than Their's.
    So Sad.
    Anonymous
    2nd May 2019
    4:33pm
    Chris B T...I fully agree.
    MICK
    2nd May 2019
    5:36pm
    You have hit the trillion dollar nail on the head Chris.
    The problem with bring more and more people into our country is they need to be housed, fed and live like the rest of us. That means we HAVE TO import more goods from China. But we have run out of money to pay the Chinese.
    I get annoyed when I read about domestic consumption because the Titanic we are all in exists on shaky shaky ground and when the next GFC comes Australia will be done....unless China ramps up its purchases of minerals. IT WON'T. Think America,Trump Trade Sanctions, the blocking of Huawai and revenge against US.

    We're heading for a cliff but nobody even gives it a second thought and considers any of the above alarmist sabre rattling. Good luck when the recession or depression we have to have arrives.
    Rae
    3rd May 2019
    6:33am
    Self serving is what is happening.

    Remember the self service flows into business profits but none of that productivity increase is for workers. Why employ if the customer will do the job for free.

    MICK the big problem in a GFC is shipping. They can't get credit for fuel or wages or port fees so it stops.

    Australia has been very foolish contracting services that could have been a domestic cost to overseas providers. That needs sorting out. Too many Australian dollars are flowing away to return as the purchase price for our assets.
    Adrianus
    3rd May 2019
    8:40am
    Chris BT, have you noticed the economy slowing in the past few months? We've seen this before when Kevin Rudd was leading in the polls prior to the 2007 election.
    The business community is nervous. The public servants and others who have a res property negatively geared are nervous. The housing industry is apprehensive. Retirees are worried about their income streams. SMSF trustees are preparing for tougher times. A famous line from Laurel and Hardy.. what a fine mess you've got us into.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2019
    9:35am
    Adrianus - you are most probably right in all your assumptions. The only people who are not concerned are the really rich and the totally destitute (of course politicians in save seats do not give a damn either).
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2019
    9:54am
    I suppose, Adrianus, you see the skids under our currency this morning. Was over in the US in February and still got 75c for our dollar before leaving. Now the offer is 67c - quite a difference. Must be the fear of the unknown. The big boys will probably say that it will help the export industries. We are so successful of flogging our beef overseas that our butcher now has beef eye filets for $54.95 a kg.
    Chris B T
    3rd May 2019
    10:25am
    Adrianus
    I stated from the 70's.
    This was the beginning of The Job Sellout, K Rudd was still at School.
    I'm Blaming all Governments from the 70's. This is when the decline in industry and off shore Industry took over.
    Mining Booms come and go. The only thing that saves us these days.
    There is a Price to Pay for over zealous Governments seeking easy money.
    Generations to come have to fix.

    3rd May 2019
    9:40am
    I live in one of these seats mentioned above. Renting here is not easy but buying a reasonable livable unit is still possible. There are quite a few in my neighborhood available for between $220'000 and $230'000. Might need a tidy-up and a paint job. Some even have lock-up garages. But to rent one of them you need $380 a week.
    Adrianus
    3rd May 2019
    9:54am
    That's ridiculously high rent Jim?
    That's 8.5% gross, now if you were buying that property the loan repayments would be half that. I can only imagine there must be jobs there and few rentals at that price point? One of the reasons for relatively high rents on the low end is the banks being forced to tighten lending. This pushes more of the low cost housing into the hands of investors.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2019
    12:20pm
    The tightening of bank lending is exactly the reason. Also, the jobs around here are not that secure either. If someone would give you a loan you'd be better off buying for sure.


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