Budgets this Christmas will be tight for many tenants, with a new analysis revealing the soaring cost of rent in regional Queensland over the past year.
The Everybody’s Home campaign has analysed the latest SQM Research Weekly Rents Index for combined units and houses.
It found asking rents across regional Queensland have surged between $30 and $185 per week since November 2021.
In the Central Coast region, which includes Rockhampton, the increase has been $48 bringing the average asking rent price to $430 a week.
Everybody’s Home national spokesperson Maiy Azize says this year’s perfect storm of the rising cost of living and stagnant wages has hit renters hard.
“It’s been a shocking, challenging year for regional Queensland tenants. Inflation is yet to peak while wages aren’t keeping up. Landlords have passed the cost of interest rate rises onto renters. Floods have had a devastating impact on lives and housing stock, and residential vacancy rates largely remain below one per cent in most regions,” she says.
“Living standards are deteriorating. It’s been a year where we’ve heard countless stories of people living in tents and shoddy accommodation across the regions.
“Having a roof over your head is choking household budgets ahead of what is already traditionally an expensive time of year. Sadly, many will likely rein in the festive celebrations simply because they can’t afford it and don’t want to risk becoming homeless.
“Rental stress is the passageway to homelessness. There aren’t enough houses to accommodate all Australians. We urgently need to expand social and affordable housing for people on low and modest incomes.
“We’ve seen positive progress this year with the Federal Government announcing its landmark National Housing Accord, which includes a target to build one million well-located homes over five years from 2024.
“But time isn’t on our side. People are suffering so we need shovels in the ground now to rapidly deliver at least 25,000 social and affordable housing properties across Australia annually.”