Perth and Darwin buck the trend of weakening rental yields: CoreLogic

Rental yields in Perth and Dawin are up over 8% especially when compared to Sydney and Melbourne which are down over -5%

Perth and Darwin buck the trend of weakening rental yields: CoreLogic
Perth and Darwin buck the trend of weakening rental yields: CoreLogic

A broad trend that is becoming increasingly evident is the outperformance of houses over units, according to the latest report from CoreLogic.

They found that at a national level, house values have risen by 3.5% over the past six months while unit values are unchanged. More recently, the past three months has seen every capital city record a stronger result for houses over units.

“Demand for units has diminished through COVID-19 amidst record low levels of investor participation and changing living preferences. At the same time supply levels are heightened in some precincts. While demand and supply remain imbalanced we are likely to see units continue to underperform relative to detached housing markets,” Tim Lawless said.

The rental market dynamic has changed substantially through COVID but there are some early signs that weakness across the unit sector is starting to level out, if not turn around.

Perth and Darwin buck the trend of weakening rental yields: CoreLogic

Rental demand has transitioned towards detached and lower density housing markets since the pandemic, partly reflecting the disruption to rental demand from overseas migration, but also the stress of changed working conditions, caused by COVID restrictions, in industry sectors that are traditionally more aligned with rental demand. Additionally, with more people working from home, demand for larger housing options has lifted.

Unit rents in Melbourne and Sydney are down 7.8% and 5.6% respectively over the past year, but in some positive news for landlords, the rate of decline is easing across these markets; in fact Sydney unit rents posted the first month-on-month rise in January (+0.8%) since March last year and Melbourne unit rents held firm over the month.

Unit rents across Brisbane and Hobart have also been on a downwards trajectory through COVID, however recent months have shown a similar trend of rising rents as conditions start to stabilise.

Part time job numbers have now fully recovered back to pre-COVID levels and more businesses are embarking on a return to work program which could be helping to support renewed demand towards inner city rental accommodation. Additionally, with rental rates now lower for inner city units, improved rental affordability could be attracting more people back to inner city renting.

Geographically, Perth and Darwin stand out with the largest rental increases. The annual lift in house rents is well into double digit territory while unit rents are also posting strong gains.

The strong rental conditions in these regions comes after a long run of falling rents and low levels of investment activity. The result is extremely tight rental supply at a time of rising demand, while affordability is relatively healthy due to the sustained fall in rents between 2013 and 2018.

Perth and Darwin buck the trend of weakening rental yields: CoreLogic

Despite the substantial lift in Perth and Darwin rents over the past year, the median rental rate in Perth is still $90/week lower than the 2013 peak, and Darwin rents remain $145/week below their previous record high in 2014.

Gross rental yields have been under some downwards pressure as housing values outperform rents, with gross rental yields across the combined capital city yields down 9 basis points, and the combined regional areas have recorded a 19 basis point drop.

Although the general trend is towards yield compressions, there are a few broad regions where rents have risen faster than housing values, resulting in higher yields over the year. The gross yield in Perth is up 11 basis points to reach 4.4% and Darwin yields are 16 basis points higher at 6.0%.

Urban Editorial

Urban Editorial

From the editorial news team.

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