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If you’re thinking of moving Down Under, you’ve probably wondered what the average rent per month in Australia is. Even if you’re planning to buy a home in Australia at some point, most of you will need to rent a home when you first arrive.
Rental prices vary enormously across the different regions and cities of Australia. This blog post will run through the median rent in each of the state capitals across Australia for houses, flats and rooms.
I will also give you the best real estate websites to find houses to rent, or to find a room in a share house. I’ll also touch on the current rental crisis in Australia, to make sure you’re informed.
Keep reading to learn more about the cost of rental properties in Australia, or watch my YouTube video below to decide if it’s expensive or cheap to rent in Australia!
Rental Costs in Australia: Table of Contents
- How is Rent Paid?
- Best Websites to Find Rentals
- Cost of Renting a House
- Cost of Renting a Flat
- Cost of Renting a Room
- Electricity Costs
- Gas Costs
- Australia’s Rental Crisis
- Free Rent by House Sitting
How is Rent Paid in Australia?
Something to note is that you normally pay rent weekly in Australia, rather than monthly. You may be paid weekly too! It’s very different to in the UK where everything is monthly.
When I lived in share houses, I paid rent directly to the landlord or tenant who I was subletting a room from. My bills were all included.
If you’re renting a property to yourself, you will usually take on a lease for a specific amount of time. It may be that you pay the landlord directly or pay via a property agent.
You will probably need to pay a bond (deposit) of 2-4 weeks rent before moving in and agree to the amount of notice you have to give when you want to move out.
The Best Real Estate Websites for Rental Homes in Australia
You just choose if you want to buy or rent, type in a city, suburb or even entire region, enter your criteria to narrow down the search, and the sites will bring up results.
Another option is flatmates.com.au. It’s mainly for those who want to find a room in a share house, but you can also rent entire properties on there.
I’ve lived in a couple of share houses in Sydney, and I found rooms straight away on that site. You just set up a profile and either look for a room to rent or a whole property.
The website does not get involved in the rent payments; it just connects tenants and landlords, or those looking to sublet.
You can also find other flat mates who are looking to live in the same area as you, if you want to team up and rent a house together.
Average Rent in Australia for a House
Here are the median rent prices for a house in each of Australia’s state capitals, using the July 2023 monthly snapshot from rent.com.au.
The most expensive state capital city in Australia to rent a house in in 2023 is Sydney, with a median weekly rent of $820.
The median rent per week in Canberra is $640, making it the second-most expensive city in Australia for rental houses.
Third is Darwin, with median rent of $630 per week. Note that Darwin is actually the cheapest Australian capital to buy a home in. So, it’s the quite the opposite in terms of renting!
The 4th-most expensive city to rent a house in is Brisbane, with median weekly rent of $620.
The median rent per week in Perth is $595, making it the fifth-most expensive city in Australia for rental houses.
The third-cheapest place to rent in Australia, for a house, is Hobart, with median weekly rent of $540.
Second cheapest is Melbourne, with median rent of $530 per week.
Out of all the state capitals, the cheapest place to rent a house in Australia in 2023 is currently Adelaide, with median weekly rent of $525!
Note that Melbourne is actually one of the most expensive Australian cities in terms of buying a property.
With so many residents leaving Melbourne because of the strict lockdowns during the pandemic though, the lower demand for rentals had made Melbourne one of the cheapest places in Australia to rent a property in 2022 and 2023.
Average Rent in Australia for a Unit (Apartment)
Next, I’ll run through the median monthly rents for flats in Australia using the July 2023 monthly snapshot from rent.com.au. Note that in Australia a flat or apartment is called a unit!
The most expensive Australian state capital to rent an apartment in is Sydney, with median weekly rent of $650.
The median weekly rent for a unit in Brisbane is $560, making it the second-most expensive city after Sydney. This is a big change from a year ago, when Brisbane came fifth with weekly rent of only $450.
Third-most expensive is Canberra, with median weekly rent of $550 for a unit.
Darwin is the 4th-most expensive city to rent a flat, with median rent of $520 per week.
Perth and Melbourne tie for fifth and sixth place in terms of renting a unit, with median weekly rent of $500.
Hobart is the second-cheapest city in Australia to rent a unit in, with median rent of $450 per week. This has actually decreased from 12 months ago, when the weekly rent was $465.
The cheapest state capital in Australia to rent an apartment in is Adelaide, with median weekly rent of $450.
Something to note is that the variation in rent across Australia isn’t quite as great as the variation in property prices to buy.
Sydney is the most expensive city in Australia to buy a property in. The median cost for a house is currently 2.4 times more in Sydney than Perth, the cheapest city.
In comparison, the rent for a house in Sydney, the most expensive city, is only 1.6 times more than in Adelaide, the cheapest city to rent in.
Average Cost to Rent a Room in a Share House in Australia
If you don’t want to spend too much on rent, or you just want to meet new people when you first move to Australia or to a new city, a room in a share house can be a good idea.
In the more expensive cities like Sydney, it’s actually quite common to live in share houses, even for older people. I’ve lived in a couple of share houses in Sydney, and they had people right up to their fifties living in them.
Here are the median weekly costs to rent a room in Australia’s major cities from the July 2023 monthly snapshot from rent.com.au.
Unsurprisingly, the most expensive Australian state capital to rent a room in is Sydney, with median weekly rent of $355.
The median weekly rent for a room in Canberra is $250, making it the second-most expensive city after Sydney.
The third-most expensive city is Melbourne, with median weekly rent of $225 for a room.
Brisbane is the 4th-most expensive city to rent a room in, with median rent of $216 per week.
Fifth-most expensive is Darwin, with median weekly rent of $210 for a room.
Perth and Hobart tie for fifth- and sixth-most expensive cities in Australia in terms of renting a room, with median weekly rent of $200.
The cheapest state capital in Australia to rent a room in is Adelaide, with median weekly rent of only $186.
I would say, depending on which city want to live in, for an average sized room in a share house in Australia, you can expect to pay between $250 to $350 per week. Obviously, there may be cheaper areas outside of the cities, although regional areas have become more popular to live in because of the pandemic.
I found that a lot of the share houses included bills in the rent, so that figure would probably include your bills.
How Much Does Electricity Cost in Australia?
In terms of household bills in Australia, if you’re renting a whole property to yourself, note that it is standard for your landlord to pay the council tax. This is different from in the UK, where the tenant has to pay it.
I’ve also found that in a lot of properties, the landlord pays the water bill as well. That may just be in apartments though.
Also note that Australia doesn’t have gas central heating inside homes like many colder countries do, so if you’ve got an electric oven and cooker top, you may not have a gas supply at all.
Here are some average figures for electricity bills across Australia, from a report by Canstar Blue from December 2022. The results are from a survey of over 4,400 households of all sizes.
The average electricity bill per year for a two-person household in the ACT and Tasmania was $2,004.
In Western Australia, the average bill was $1,992 a year, and in South Australia, residents paid $1,742 per year.
Victorians had average electricity bills of $1,290 a year, and people in NSW paid $1,253.
Queensland had the lowest electricity cost for a two-person household, paying $1,226 a year on average.
As you can see, the cost of electricity in the different states of Australia is not aligned with the cost of renting property in those regions.
How Much is the Average Gas Bill in Australia?
Here are some figures for average household gas bills across Australia, from a report from Canstar Blue in December 2022. This is based on households of all sizes, and it’s the quarterly gas bill.
The average quarterly gas bill in Western Australia was $122, and in Queensland it was $168.
In New South Wales, the average quarterly gas bill was $179, and in South Australia, $208.
People in Victoria paid $186 per quarter for gas.
Australia’s Rental Crisis
While this isn’t the best news, it’s important to be aware that Australia is currently in a rental crisis. If you do move to Australia in 2023, you may see this in the news.
Unfortunately, the supply of rental properties has not been meeting demand since the pandemic. This has led to many people in Australia becoming homeless, even if they have a good salary.
This article by macrobusiness.com.au explains some of the reasons for this.
One reason behind Australia’s rental crisis is that vacancy rates in Australia are the lowest they’ve been in 16 years.
While the population of Australia didn’t rise significantly during the pandemic, (due to international borders being closed for almost two years) many people don’t want to live in big multi-person households anymore.
This means that the average number of people living in each household has decreased, so we basically need more homes now to house everybody.
Another theory is that a lot of landlords have sold their properties, either due to legislation changes or to cash in on Australia’s big housing boom. Obviously, this means that less rental properties are available.
In addition, the government has plans for 235,000 migrants per year to enter Australia, which is going to obviously push up the demand for rental properties even more.
House Sitting in Australia (Rent-Free Living)
Just a quick note, in case this helps anyone out who’s struggling to find rental accommodation. I’m a house sitter, so I get paid to live in properties and look after people’s pets while they’re on holiday!
Lots of people bought pets during the pandemic, and now that Australians are allowed to travel, everyone has gone absolutely nuts for booking holidays! I’m so booked out that I moved out of my rental property at the start of 2022 to house sit full-time, and I’m still doing it nearly two years later!
Best House-Sitting Websites
If you want to start house sitting straight away, here are my recommended house-sitting web sites.
- Aussie House Sitters – Australia’s largest house-sitting website;
- Trusted House Sitters (click here for 20% off a new membership) – very popular house-sitting site with jobs in over 130 countries and lots of perks;
- MadPaws – paid pet sitting in Australia for locals.
I hope this post on the average cost of rent in Australia has been useful! If you’re undecided on where to live in Australia, have a browse through my city guides and comparisons.
To learn more about living in Australia, browse through all my articles on moving to Australia!
Discover more about Australian properties in my blog post on how Australian homes are different to homes in the UK!
Lisa Bull, founder of Dreaming of Down Under, has been living in Australia as a British expat since 2015. After travelling to every state and territory in Australia and living in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, Lisa knows from first-hand experience the best destinations to visit in Australia and the best budget travel tips. Her guides on this blog have been read by over 700k readers and helped thousands of people achieve their dream of living in or travelling Australia.