Helen Howell will set up a tent outside her mother’s house in Launceston if she can’t find a place to live next month.
A 48-year-old Tasmanian has applied for 10 rents in the last three weeks, but found many snapped even before being opened for inspection.
“We were looking for a flat out house. It’s crazy,” she told AAP.
“I have a tent and a really good sleeping bag that my brother gave me. In the worst case, I’ll put up a tent across the road (from my mother’s house).”
From the riverside city of Launceston to the red-stained town of Pilbara, rents are skyrocketing in Australia. Stress is most severe for low-income earners and those who rely on welfare services.
According to the domain’s latest rental vacancy rate report, vacancy rates across the country are the lowest in years, at just 1%, creating a landlord market amid surges in rental demand.
The rental market in the cities of Hobart and Launceston in Tasmania is one of the problems that Howell is directly witnessing.
Howell says he has a weekly budget of $ 200 ($ 139) and has visited an “absolutely scary” rental property behind a damp, unheated home.
On the other side of the country, and at the end, social worker Angela Sinclair says she doesn’t intend to stay in the western Australian city of Karratha for a long time, even though she has lived with her partner and two children for almost two years. ..
With few rental properties available, families pay about $ 750 a week for a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home in the 1960s.
“It’s definitely not flashy,” Sinclair said.
“It’s not like Perth’s house by the newly decorated beach, as it has an old-fashioned kitchen, an electric stove, and some of the cupboards are missing.”
In resource-rich towns such as Karasa, prices for goods and services are also significantly higher, making daily costs difficult, especially for non-high-paying people associated with the mining and oil and gas sectors.
“Until you come here, I don’t think you really understand how it affects you,” Sinclair said.
“There’s not just rent, but food, day care, and everything that comes with it.”
After the COVID-19 travel restrictions are relaxed, it is predicted that rental demand will increase and rental prices will rise in many cities as foreign workers and travelers return to Australia all at once. Similar trends have been reported in areas where people flowed in during the pandemic.
Problems cannot be avoided in the major capitals of Sydney and Melbourne, where vacancy rates are still tight. Australia’s top also does not offer rest.
“The Northern Territory has the serious problem of not being affordable,” said Peter McMillan, executive officer of NT Shelter.
Rent has increased by $ 140 (US $ 97) per week over the last two years, and the average cost of rent in NT has increased from $ 420 (US $ 291) per week in September 2019 to $ 570 (US $ 395) per week now. ) Is rising. The data shows.
“More and more people in NT are experiencing rental stress,” McMillan said.
“NT lacks social and affordable housing and needs to deal with it.”
In NT, about half of families pay rent, well above the national average of 30%.
McMillan says it’s not just low-income earners that are affected. Experts also find it difficult to secure accommodation, and there are reports that it may affect their ability to stay and work at NT.