Melburnians are being stung by record-high rent, with landlords in a dozen suburbs jacking up rental prices by more than 10 per cent over the past year.
House rents have risen the fastest in Box Hill South, where the median asking price jumped 22 per cent to $500 a week, Domain Group data shows.
Large increases have also been seen in Middle Park, Mordialloc and Templestowe, where, on average, investors raised rents by more than 13 per cent.
Jo Worrell, of Greg Hocking Albert Park, said the strong demand for houses in Middle Park was largely driven by sought-after schools such as Albert Park College.
“[Families] are often coming back from overseas and they want to be in the school zones, or they’re renovating in the area and they just cannot leave 3206,” she said.
“That’s why houses are so popular – because of the family area – and they literally just don’t want to move from that area because it’s just a little bubble.”
Ms Worrell said she leased a lot of houses, priced between $1200 to $2000 a week, off-market because there was always a list of families waiting and not enough supply.
She expects demand to increase in the lead up to the end of the year and the new school year.
Houses Rent* 1 year
Box Hill South $500 22.0%
Middle Park $770 15.8%
Mordialloc $470 14.6%
Templestowe $580 13.7%
Caulfield North $678 12.8%
Maidstone $420 10.5%
Doncaster East $495 10.0%
Bentleigh $550 10.0%
Flemington $495 10.0%
Frankston South $420 9.9%
Domain Group senior economist Andrew Wilson said the suburbs where rents had risen the most were also popular with buyers.
“We’ve seen prices growing in these areas quite strongly, and it is in that ‘hot band’ in Melbourne,” he said.
“Box Hill South is one of those areas where those who are perhaps priced out of Hawthorn, Kew and Camberwell look over Warrigal Road.
“Middle Park is prestigious, and I think affordability is driving Mordialloc as a part of the strength of the southern bayside suburbs.”
The biggest jump in unit rents was in Altona North, where the median asking price climbed 28.1 per cent to $365 a week.
Tenants in MacLeod, Middle Park, Thomastown and Brighton also saw some of the biggest leaps in median asking rents over the past year.
Where rents have risen the most over the past yearUnits Rent* 1 year
Altona North $365 28.1%
Macleod $250 25.0%
Middle Park $448 13.2%
Thomastown $315 9.8%
Brighton $548 9.4%
Parkdale $350 9.4%
Malvern $410 9.3%
Toorak $440 8.6%
Templestowe $385 7.8%
Parkville $420 7.7%
* Median weekly asking rent
Source: Dr Andrew Wilson, Domain Group
Elizabeth Lopez, of Biggin and Scott Brighton, said dated 60s and 70s villa units were struggling because they were competing against many new apartments in the area.
She said anything “modern and nice” was leasing fairly well, but not quickly because of the sheer volume.
“Blocks of them are becoming available all at the one time because they all settle at the one time,” Ms Lopez said.
“There’s not enough demand to soak all of them up, so sometimes the people who have bought those apartments have to perhaps be realistic with their rents.
“Get a tenant in there and in 12 months’ time reassess the rent, you don’t want them sitting there vacant.”
Large leaps in the median weekly asking rent could also reflect a larger mix of new apartments available for rent, she said.
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