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June 28, 2023 by ash

Over 73,000 Qld households in rental stress after massive hikes

Shock figures show over 73,000 Queensland households face acute rental stress or homelessness after massive rent hikes since the pandemic – with the highest numbers in the capital.

A National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation report found almost 40,000 Brisbane households were in rental strife – more than the rest of the state combined – after 30 per cent-plus rent rises across SEQ.

NHFIC head of research Hugh Hartigan told a UDIA breakfast in Brisbane on Wednesday that “Queensland has one of the higher levels of housing need as a percentage of the population” in the country.

“Approximately 39,700 Brisbane households face acute rental stress or homelessness, slightly more than the rest of Queensland where 33,600 households are in rental stress,” he said.

A dozen local government areas in South East Queensland logged rental price growth above 30 per cent rent from pre-Covid-19 to early 2023, NHFIC found, compared to one in Melbourne and six in Sydney.

“South East Queensland experienced the most synchronised upswing in rents in the country with 12 local government areas (LGAs) recording a more than a 30 per cent rise in rents from pre-Covid-19 levels through to early 2023,” Mr Hartigan said.

“In comparison, only 55 per cent of Melbourne’s LGAs saw rents rise by 10 per cent or less during the same period.”

LGAs across South East Queensland include City of Brisbane, City of Gold Coast, Somerset Region, Sunshine Coast Region, Moreton Bay Region, Redland City, Logan City, Shire of Noosa, Scenic Rim Region, City of Ipswich, Lockyer Valley Region, Toowoomba Region.

Rent rises in Brisbane have outpaced the rest of regional Queensland and CPI rent growth since late 2021.

The pressure did not come from net overseas migration which was negative during Covid-19, but caused by Queensland’s significant net interstate migration which lead to extremely tight rental markets, he said.

There was some hope of relief ahead, with Mr Hartigan saying “the strong net interstate migration experienced in Queensland during Covid appears to be easing and this may slow the pace of rental growth in coming years”.