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The Average Rent in Australia 2021-2023

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The cost of renting in Australia

The pandemic has deeply affected the rental market in Australia, and as things cool down, it’s difficult to predict how the prices will change. If you are planning on moving this guide details the cost of renting in each state and gives insight into the most expensive and cheapest places to live in Australia. Read on for the state-by-state breakdown of average rent prices in Australia.


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Average Rent in Australia 2021-2022

The average weekly rent in Australia has seen some unusual trends over the course of the pandemic, as the population of Australia has shifted dramatically.

Below, you will find the results of the December 2021 Domain Rental Report, outlining the average rent in Australia by major city.

(Keep in mind, that the 2022 rates have yet to be published.)

Median Weekly Rent Prices by Major City, December 2021
 Average weekly rent
Average weekly rent
Sydney, NSW$600$490
Canberra, ACT$675$530
Melbourne, Victoria$445$375
Brisbane, QLD$480$420
Adelaide, SA$450$360
Perth, WA$460$390
Hobart, Tasmania$500$428
Darwin, NT$600$480

Source: Domain Rental Report December 2021

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What Are the Most Expensive Cities for Renters in Australia?

The cost of rent in Australia varies wildly, depending on where you live. Not just by state, but by whether you live in regional Australia or a city, and even what part of the city you live in. Below you will find a breakdown of the four most expensive Australian major cities to rent in, for both houses and units. Keep in mind, this details rates over the past year.

Canberra, ACT

Canberra is the most expensive city for renters in Australia. Average rent in Canberra for a house will cost you $675 a week. If you'd rather rent a smaller space, the average rent in Canberra for a unit is $530. The average rent for a unit in Canberra is more expensive than renting a house in the centre of 6 different Australian capital cities.

Sydney, New South Wales

Behind Canberra, Sydney comes in as the second most expensive city for renters in Australia. The average rent in Sydney is $600 for houses and $490 for units. Although rent prices fell in Sydney during the pandemic, the rental market has rebounded and prices are rising again. Units are up 4.3% and houses are up 9.1% vs last year.

Darwin, Northern Territory

Darwin has some of the highest average rent in the nation, and ties with Sydney for the second most expensive city for renters in Australia. During the pandemic, rental prices for new houses and units rose dramatically - up 14.6% for houses, and 13.2% for units. However, since December 2021, the average rent in darwin has begun to level off. Darwin was the only location in Australia between September & December 2021 that saw the average rent for houses drop from $620 to $600 per week. The price for units saw only a slight increase of $5 more per week for an average rent of $480 per week.

Hobart, Tasmania

While once considered one of the most affordable cities in Australia, Hobart is now the third most expensive city for renters in Australia. The average rent in Hobart is around $500 a week for a house, while the average rent for a unit in Hobart will cost you $428. This is due to a growing rental shortage which has led to the lowest vacancy rates seen in Hobart since 2018-19. This means that landlords can charge what they like as renters scramble to nail down a tenancy agreement before the property is scooped up by other renters.

What Are the Most Affordable Cities for Renters in Australia?

One of the biggest shifts we've seen has been working from home. More and more people realised that as long as they had a fast internet connection they could not only work from home, but work from anywhere. While it’s too soon yet to see how this could affect rent in the long term, it does mean that many people are choosing to move to cheaper cities even if their job is in a more expensive one. If you’re looking for a cheaper city to move to, regardless of your reason, keep reading below to find the cities with the cheapest rent in Australia.

If you are planning on renting for the first time and are looking for information? Check out our guides on tips for movers and our moving checklists to help you organise your moving budget and deal with removalists.

Melbourne, Victoria

As rental conditions get more difficult in Perth and Adelaide, Melbourne might has become the most affordable Australian city. Despite rent prices rising in Melbourne, it now has the cheapest rent in Australia thanks to the consistent decrease in rental costs that we saw throughout 2021. Recently, however, house rental costs in Melbourne have jumped to $445 per week. The average weekly rent for a unit in Melbourne has maintained stable at $375 per week. Like other cities, however, this isn’t consistent across the city and some areas within Melbourne saw record-high rental costs.

Adelaide, South Australia

Adelaide is not far behind Melbourne and ranks the second most affordable city for renters in Australia. There has been a recent uptick in new rental applications, and thanks to a shrinking vacancy rate, higher competition for rentals available, and a slowing down of investment and construction for new buildings, house costs and unit rental costs have jumped. Versus the same time last year, rent prices have gone from $410 to $450 for houses, and from $340 to $360 per week for units.

Perth, Western Australia

Perth was once the city with the cheapest rent in Australia, but now, thanks to a 11% increase in rent for houses and 12% increase in rent for units, Perth has fallen down the list and ranks the 3rd cheapest city for renters in Australia. A few months back, Perth and Melbourne were nearly neck-and-neck for the cost of rent, however, now a house in Perth has an average rent of $460 per week and a unit rents for $390 per week on average.

Brisbane, Queensland

Rental prices across Queensland, not just in Brisbane, have reached record highs thanks to more and more Australians moving out of their states to be in the sunshine state. In Brisbane, house rent has increased 12.9% over the last year, up to $460 a week, while units rent for just $40 less on average at $420 per week. This a new record high in rent prices for a unit in Brisbane. However, this is nothing compared to the Sunshine Coast or the Gold Coast which have their housing markets explode with houses sometimes renting around $650 per week.

Average Rent in Regional Australia 2021

The cities are expensive, which is why regional Australia can be an attractive choice for a tenant looking to save money or those on rent assistance. While each region varies in terms of the cost of rent, below you can find the average lowest and highest regional rents by state.

Average Highest & Lowest Weekly Rent for Regional Australia -2022
LocationRegional Average Rent
New South Wales$480 per week
Victoria$380 per week
Queensland$450 per week
South Australia$320 per week
Western Australia$450 per week
Tasmania$420 per week

Source: Rent Property Data January 2022

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How much of their income do Australians spend on rent per week?

They say you should never spend more than 30% of your income on rent, but how much of their average weekly earnings does the average Australian living in a major city put towards renting their home?

Below, we’ve taken the average weekly earnings for each major Australian city and the average weekly rent for the same to see just how much income is spent on rent every week.

Percentage of Weekly Earnings Ppent on Rent in Australia - By State
 Average weekly earningsPercentage of rent - housePercentage of rent - unit
Sydney, NSW$1,751.9034.25%27.97%
Canberra, ACT$1,890.2035.71%28.04%
Melbourne, Victoria$1,718.5025.89%21.82%
Brisbane, QLD$1,615.4029.71%26.00%
Adelaide, SA$1,542.6029.17%23.34%
Perth, WA$1,840.5024.99%21.19%
Hobart, Tasmania$1,488.1033.60%28.76%
Darwin, NT$1,703.7035.22%28.17%

Source: Average weekly income in Australia - Australian Bureau of Statistics. Average weekly rent in Australia - Domain Weekly Rental Report March 2021