Tenancy duration on the rise

Tenancy duration on the rise

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Finding a long-term rental is proving a big challenge for many renters in New South Wales, with most tenants changing homes after less than 18 months in a rental property, new data shows.

Rental bond refund data shows tenancy duration has been slowly rising across the state, hitting a median of 17 months over the year to March – an increase of over a month since 2016.

For a number of different reasons, few details are available about the average tenancy lengths across other states – with NSW, Queensland and Victoria proving the exception.

According to data from the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority Victoria about bonds repaid in 2019/20, the median duration of the tenancy was 565 days, compared to 566 for the previous year. There was no distinction made between houses and units.

Data from the Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority shows the average tenancy for units in that state over 2019/20 was 13.4 months, up from 13.1 the previous year.

There was no data available for Australian Capital Territories, Tasmania, South Australia, Northern Territory or Western Australia.

A closer examination of the figures included in the NSW data shows that fewer than one in 10 tenants, both state-wide and within Greater Sydney, spent more than five years in a property.

They also show that the 2108 postcode – covering Palm Beach – had the shortest tenancies of all suburbs in Sydney with rental bonds refunded held for less than 13 months.

The next Sydney suburbs with the shortest tenancies include Ultimo in the city centre (391 days), Austral in the city’s south-west (397 days) and Chippendale in the inner-west (399 days).

Industry experts say there are a number of reasons for this with suburbs popular with students and young expats more likely to see shorter tenancies. This could also extend to affluent areas, where visiting international executives may rent for a year or two before returning home or choosing to buy, they say.

The findings were vastly different for renters in some middle and outer ring suburbs, with the data showing tenants here stayed for almost twice the time.

The Belfield postcode, in the Canterbury Bankstown region, had the highest median at 24.5 months, followed by the postcode covering the Bossley Park and Edensor Park region where the median was just past 24 months.

The results coincide with the release of CoreLogic’s Rental Review for the March 2021 quarter which shows rental rates rose by 3.2% nationally over the first quarter of 2021; the largest quarterly increase in the national rental index since May 2007.

Unit rents rose across both regional and capital city markets, with regional units recording the highest quarterly rental growth of 4.8% compared to the 2.0% rise in capital city units.

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