Rent costs remain affordable

By Ewen McRae

By Melissa Heagney and Ewen McRae

Melton and Melton South are among the cheapest suburbs in Melbourne to rent, according to a new report.

Domain’s Rental Report for the September quarter shows that rental prices vary widely – up to $643 per week – between rentals in the inner and outer suburbs.

Jayson Ryder, managing director of Ryder Real Estate in Melton, said affordability was the main driver for people renting in the cheaper outer suburbs.

“I think affordability is the number one thing … as well as having a good train network, schools, shopping and other amenities,” Mr Ryder said.

Families, older couples, single people and new migrants were all moving to cheaper areas to be closer to family, friends or to where they grew up, Mr Ryder said.

In Melbourne, Melton and Melton South offer the cheapest rental medians at $320 per week, while Kurunjang had the fifth cheapest median at $330.

According to the report, median asking prices for Melbourne rentals were steady over the September quarter, with house rent prices remaining at a median of $430 per week.

Unit rents were $420, which is also unchanged over the quarter, but marks a 2.4 per cent increase over the year.

The rental vacancy rate rose from 1.4 per cent to 1.8 per cent over the past 12 months in Melbourne. In Moorabool, the median rental is $370 a week, up from $360 12 months ago.

Despite experiencing a similar dwelling construction boom to Sydney in recent years, the Melbourne rental market has not swung in favour of tenants to the same extent.

The Domain report said this is likely due to Melbourne maintaining stronger population growth. This strong population growth also means demand for rentals has matched increased supply. There has been an 8.5 per cent increase in the volume of rental listings over the September quarter, according to Domain data.