Housing affordability hitting low-income renters

Renters are being pushed out of the market with fewer affordable properties.

Housing affordability hitting low-income renters

Anglicare has released its annual, Rental Affordability Snapshot (RAS) report that reveals low-income renters are being pushed out of the market, with available properties either unaffordable or unsuitable.

The report, which uses rental-listing data from realestate.com.au. has found that for those single and on the Age Pension, there were only 1097 properties that were affordable and appropriate to rent. Couples fared a little better, with 2897 properties that they could both afford and that were suitable. However, it is worth noting that the location of these properties may render them impractical for many renters searching for accommodation.

As well as detailing national rental affordability, the report is also borken down into states and territories and highlights the disparity between metropolitant and regional rental availability. for example, in Metropolitan Melbourne, it was found that for those single and on the Age Pension, only 13 properties were affordable and appropriate, while for couples that number rose to 65. Regional Victoria had a greater number but, of course, spread over a greater geographical area. Those single on the Age Pension could have access to 67 affordable and accessible properties, while couples could access 332.

The report also notes that, over the last year, there has been a considerable decline in the number of rental properties on the market, which could signal a distinct move from homeownership to long-term renting among middle-income earners. If this is indeed the case and the trend continues, it could make it even more difficult for those on low incomes to secure rental properties.

The report calls for a significant investment in social housing, with all levels of government called on to consider alternative and creative solutions to the housing affordability crisis.

As we know from YourLifeChoices Retirement Affordability Index, a whopping 29 per cent of the income of a single renter on an Age Pension will go on paying rent. This compares to 22 per cent for couples on an Age Pension who rent, and is just under the 30 per cent threshold where housing stress kicks in.

The knock-on effect is perhaps more concerning, with singles on the Age Pension who rent spending only six per cent of their income on health – from whihc we can deduce means missed doctors appointments and deferring essential health treatment.

You can download the Anglicare Australia report at anglicare.asn.au

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    COMMENTS

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    iamnotold
    28th Apr 2017
    11:47am
    All depends on what they call "affordable".
    Charlie
    28th Apr 2017
    11:56am
    Its not just a matter of "unaffordable or unsuitable", the agents themselves are making the decision about whether the renter can afford the flat or not. They want to know what the applicants income is, so if the rent is a certain percentage or more of the applicants income, the applicant is told that their application is unsuccessful.

    It discriminates against the poor because missing rent payments can be a result of money mismanagement, drinking, gambling, etc, not just low income.

    I think the agents are setting themselves up to apply a big rent increase when the market value of the property increases and they want high income tenants who can absorb the increase.
    Old Geezer
    28th Apr 2017
    12:55pm
    Why bother with tenants that might default as there are enough ones that have enough income? Agents don't want the hassle and neither do landlords.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2017
    5:15pm
    That's how the free market works. Maybe the banks will lend them money to purchase their own home? Unlikely as the banks also want to know the financial situation of the applicant. Even centrelink want to know a person's income and assets before a pension is given. Why do you target the Landlord?
    Cassius
    28th Apr 2017
    12:21pm
    This is flawed, please tell me where you can rent a house for 22% of the old age pension for couples i.e. $147.18 a week
    Old Geezer
    28th Apr 2017
    12:56pm
    What about rent assistance?
    Anonymous
    28th Apr 2017
    2:19pm
    How about the Housing Commission or what ever they call it now that to me seems to be the only way or even perhaps a caravan park.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2017
    5:17pm
    A couple can live quite comfortably in a studio / bedsitter type of accommodation.
    Sundays
    28th Apr 2017
    12:22pm
    In the Capital cities there has been a large increase in the number of properties which are purchased by investors and then left vacant. They would rather wait for capital gains than bother with tenants. This does nothing to add to the housing stock
    Old Geezer
    28th Apr 2017
    12:53pm
    I don't blame them as tenants do more damage just with wear and tear on new properties than any rent received would pay for. There are lots of vacant properties in Sydney and Melbourne now.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2017
    4:56pm
    @OG yes far too many bad tenants these days. The tenancy laws have been tipped in their favour. The choice of tenant must revert to the Landlord, then the situation will improve.
    Rosret
    29th Apr 2017
    3:05pm
    Yes OG I know a friend who had to completely refurbish the interior of their rental property and decided it was better just to lock the doors and use the house as a holiday house. It wasn't about capital gain or negative gearing - they just didn't want their future retirement home ruined again.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2017
    3:26pm
    Anglicare, just another so-called charity in exaggeration mode to suit their own agenda.
    Rosret
    29th Apr 2017
    2:47pm
    Anglicare is spot on. Have you actually been out there checking out the market.
    I have been looking at entry priced accommodation in our region for my son and not only are they exceedingly expensive they were dirty, rundown and in suburbs you just wouldn't want to live in. It has been a very depressing exercise.
    Not only did it seem as though he just had to knuckle down and save more but in the short few months he searched the prices went up a further $40K. No one on an average salary can save at that rate.
    In the rental market the real estate agent sent him a message this week - we have a suitable 3 bedroom house to rent to you. Its $700 p.w.!! Most people didn't pay these ridiculous purchase prices for they investment property they are purely profiteering in an under supplied region.
    I don't know how you stop it without the government actually making an effort to build housing commission homes but its ridiculous out there right now.

    28th Apr 2017
    4:23pm
    It really has me how a pensioner can need to rent. You must have had a lot of bad luck or been unwell for a long period of time or some how blown your money?
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2017
    4:30pm
    The latter in most cases I would suggest.
    Swinging voter
    28th Apr 2017
    5:17pm
    Recent highlighting of unaffordable rental properties is a perfect example of why attainment and holding of the family home is an important part of financial planning. We should be applauding people who slaved and went without to pay off their homes so they don't require taxpayer-subsidised housing in retirement. As for "downsizing" (a different subject) many older people don't want to sell up and move into smaller conjoined apartments beside renters,risking noisy party throwing neighbours across the corridor and probably taxpayer-funded no-hopers.
    Rosret
    29th Apr 2017
    3:20pm
    Divorce, gambling partner, alcoholic partner, business bankruptcy, terminal or severe illness - especially cancer, longtime carer, mentally or physically disabled, embezzlement of superannuation funds etc etc.
    Misfortune does beset people and it never pays to sit in judgement. In fact I am very thankful for what I have and that I belong to a caring family.
    Because not everyone is as fortunate as me I am happy for my taxes to go to those Australians who don't have the same infrastructure as me and have not managed to buy or keep their own home by retirement age.
    niemakawa
    28th Apr 2017
    7:32pm
    Thousand upon thousands of so-called immigrants flocking into Australia. It seems there is no problem with housing them, whether providing Government housing or private rentals , subsidised heavily by the taxpayer. Why is this so?
    Rosret
    29th Apr 2017
    2:59pm
    A very good question indeed. Immigrants tend to group in their own suburbs. Perhaps they look after their own.
    The Chinese are certainly building their own Multistory apartments.
    Libby
    28th Apr 2017
    7:44pm
    OK guys. How about this. I live in an over 55 Retirement Village in Waverley NSW, 2 blocks away from Bondi Junction. It used to be called Uniting Care, now it's changed to UNITING! Uniting what?? The rent is $235pw ($470pf) leaving us $550 left over for electricity and phone which we pay ourselves, however, we have free use of washing machines/clothes dryers and there are also clothes lines. Street parking only. To secure parking on this property, you have to be living in a "buy-in" unit at back of building facing Memorial Hospital and lovely park. There is a Nursing Home/Hostel as well. Can't complain about the closeness of shops, medical centres, Westfield and transport. Rent goes up $5 each year now but the few years I have lived here, rent was not raised until 2010 I think. They must've woken up to themselves! Newcomers will pay more per month due to the renovations of a unit becoming available but a word of warning, the building may come down in a few years to make way for new accommodation by the same organisation. Rental is paid to an estate agent. Do you call this affordable? Our pension CPI is slowly coming down, we still may lose govt rebate on electricity and perhaps other rates.
    Rosret
    29th Apr 2017
    2:49pm
    You have a really good deal, Libby - lucky!
    sunnyOz
    28th Apr 2017
    9:34pm
    I have recently needed to rent out my house and move for work, and rent a place. I rented out my house to a corporate rental before it had even hit the listings due to the exceptional quality of the home and it's condition. But - My God! - the absolute DUMPS that I have been forced to look at to rent! And no - I am not being fussy. With time against me, I was forced to take what I thought was the best of worst - big mistake. Infested with carpet fleas (ended up with infected bites), insect crawling in every cupboard, leaking taps, garage floods when ever it rains, different key for 9 locks, and garage door has no key. Worst of all - house has no insulation - even on a 20 degree day, some rooms you cannot go in to. Agents refuse to do anything. They even told me that I was welcome to move out - but that I would have to pay rent for the next 6 months. Easily assume they would not find a new tenant to replace me - just bleed me saying they couldn't find another (gullable) tenant. Definitely have to move - again - most of my stuff I won't even unpack. I myself have had to have the place flea bombed, plumber to fix taps, and electrician to fix lights. Agents say that because I didn't mention it on the condition report, I must have caused the problems. Yet my tenants - whom have free rein to phone me with any concerns - just rave about my place, and have actually asked if they can put in a garden and landscape the place! (is long term lease). Stupid me, I assumed all landlords offered as good a place as my own home. My rent is definitely not affordable for what I am getting - in fact, should not be rented at all.
    Rosret
    29th Apr 2017
    2:56pm
    Is there a rental tribunal you can go to?
    It sounds as though the agent is a dud as well!
    You need a lawyer and keep those medical reports.
    Incognito
    29th Apr 2017
    4:06pm
    I have been renting the same place for 10 years. My landlord does only the very basics. I dread the day I have to move out and then they claim my bond for repairs, because the house is so old, think 1970's and never been renovated. I recently got a lease renewal, usually I get 2 years but because I asked that the rent not be increased by $10 which they wanted to do we agreed to $5 per week increase but then I only got a 12 month lease. Presume they will increase rent again next year. The real estate agents blame the owners, They also gave me a list of reasons why the rent can go up and one is maintenance costs! So who dares to ask anything to get fixed or renovated will incur a rent increase. Is this fair? I have an exceptional rent history but I still feel like I am not valued.


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