Aussie Pensioners Priced Out of Rental Market

By Andrew Heaton

(image source: bankrate)

Rents throughout many metropolitan and regional areas are unaffordable for pensioners and other Australians on lower incomes, the latest report has found.

Produced by National Shelter in conjunction with Community Sector Banking and SGS Economics, the latest National Rental Affordability Index shows that rental affordability dropped across all metropolitan markets in Australia except for Perth, where a housing construction boom which occurred during the resource phase of the market has driven greater supply of rental accommodation.

Community Sector Banking chief executive officer Andrew Cairns said the report demonstrated the need to address the need for affordable housing at the lower income end.

“The latest Rental Affordability Index is a wake-up call,” Cairns said.

“Without swift coordinated action to tackle housing affordability, Australia will become a divided country, with pensioners, working parents and other low income groups locked out of living in metropolitan areas.”

National Shelter Executive Officer Adrian Pirsarski and SGS Economics and Planning Partner Ellen Witte agree.

Amid great pressure on rental markets as spiralling house prices locked families out of home ownership, low income households were being forced out into the margins, Pirsarski said.

This was true not only of low income households but also of working families, Witte added.

According to the report:

  • Rents were severely to extremely unaffordable across metropolitan areas for single pensioner households
  • Rents for pensioner couples were severely unaffordable across metropolitan areas
  • Rents were extremely unaffordable across all metropolitan and regional areas for single pensioners on benefits
  • Rents for single part-time worker parents were severely to extremely unaffordable across all metropolitan areas
  • Rents were moderately to severely unaffordable across metropolitan areas for single working parents.
  • Rents were severely to extremely unaffordable in inner and metropolitan areas for single income couples with children.
  • Rents were generally acceptable to extremely affordable for dual income couples with children.
  • Rents were severely unaffordable across metropolitan areas in student sharehouse accommodation.

Throughout the fourth quarter of 2016, rental affordability declined in every region except for Metropolitan Perth, where supply has been plentiful following strong construction activity during the resource sector boom.

Overall rental markets are moderately unaffordable in the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart and in regional areas of NSW and Tasmania.

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