Average Rent in Canberra: High Cost of City Living

February 13, 2024
Average Rent in Canberra

Key takeaways:

    • Canberra’s rental prices are among the highest in Australian cities, with average weekly rents at $690 for homes and $533 for units, yet observed a decrease in median house rent by $35 from the prior quarter.

    • Factors such as proximity to city centre, amenities, and public transport significantly impact rental prices; varied housing options cater to different budgets with areas like Ngunnawal and Belconnen offering more affordable rents.

    • Rental market dynamics in Canberra are influenced by supply and demand, economic health, and population changes, with significant impacts on rental rates and future price predictions.

Looking for the average rent in Canberra? As of February 2023, The average cost of renting a home in Canberra is $690 per week, while a unit costs $533 per week on average.

Read on for an analysis of cost factors, comparative rents and practical tips for renting in the capital.

Current Rental Landscape in Canberra

Securing a rental in Canberra poses a considerable challenge. As Australia’s capital, the city presents a unique rental landscape shaped by a myriad of factors.

Canberra’s average weekly rent stands at $690 for a home and $533 for a unit, making it one of the costliest cities for tenants. However, the city has seen a decline in rental prices, with the median house rent dropping by $35 from the previous quarter.

Location is a key determinant of a property’s rental price in Canberra. Properties situated further from the city centre generally yield higher rental returns, whereas those in more desirable locations command prices above the market rate.

Despite the high costs, the demand for rental properties is high, with a record low vacancy rate of 1.8% in May 2023. For those exploring options, exploring houses for rent in Canberra could provide insights into current market offerings.

The Numbers Game: Average Rent for Different Property Types

Average rent in Canberra for:

  • All houses: $747 per week
  • 3 bedroom house: $677 per week
  • All units: $567 per week
  • 2 bedroom unit: $586 per week

Rental costs significantly depend on the type of property. For example, the typical rental cost for houses in Canberra is $633 per week, often including features such as a spacious main bedroom.

“Interestingly, the average rental price for apartments aligns closely with the cost for houses, despite potential differences in size and amenities.”

For those seeking a more budget-friendly living arrangement, shared rooms offer a viable option, with average rent starting from $165 per week.

Despite the high average prices, Canberra offers a range of options for renters, catering to different budgets and preferences.

Influencing Factors Behind Rental Prices

A multitude of factors influence Canberra’s rental prices. The proximity to amenities such as parks, fitness centres, and supermarkets can significantly impact rental prices, as these conveniences are highly valued by renters.

Additionally, access to public transportation is a key factor, with properties near public transit often attracting higher rental prices.

Suburb desirability also plays a role in rental pricing. Factors such as affordability and recent surges in rental prices reflect the trends and shifts in the market’s performance. Understanding these factors can help renters make informed decisions and potentially find better deals.

Canberra’s Suburbs for the Best Rental Deals

Photo of diverse suburbs in Canberra offering different rental deals

Though Canberra’s rental market can seem intimidating, effective strategies exist to navigate it. The city’s suburbs offer a range of options, from budget-friendly rentals to luxurious properties. Some suburbs that offer favorable rental deals include:

SuburbMedian Weekly Asking Rent

On the other hand, Forrest is the most expensive suburb for unit rentals, boasting a median price of $687 per week and offering luxury amenities.

Hence, securing the best rental deal in Canberra requires considering factors beyond just the rental price. It is also important to consider the property type, location, and the amenities available in the area.

Top Picks for Budget-Friendly Living in Canberra

Suburbs like Belconnen, Gungahlin, and Tuggeranong provide affordable options for renters on a budget. The average rental prices in these suburbs vary, with houses in Belconnen averaging at $540 per week and units at $520.

In Gungahlin, houses are slightly more expensive with an average rent of $695, while units average at $530.

These suburbs also offer a range of properties, from apartments to townhouses, catering to various preferences and living area requirements.

Additionally, they provide access to numerous attractions and extensive public transport services, ensuring a balanced and convenient lifestyle.

Upscale Suburbs in Canberra: When Location and Luxury Count

Photo of premium rental properties in sought-after suburbs like Kingston, Braddon, and Barton in Canberra

Tenants seeking luxury and convenience can find premium rental options in suburbs like Kingston, Braddon, and Barton.

These properties typically feature amenities such as open-plan layouts, high-end finishes, stone bench tops, built-in wardrobes, and dedicated Zoom rooms.

These locations are considered premium due to their desirable positioning and proximity to popular amenities and attractions.

High-quality rental properties in these areas are listed on various platforms, including, Accommodate Canberra, and Maloney’s Property.

Analyzing Canberra’s Rental Market Dynamics

A variety of factors dynamically influence Canberra’s rental market. Key factors include:

  • Home buying capacity
  • Economic health
  • Supply and demand
  • Inflation
  • Low interest rates
  • Rising living costs
  • Tenants exploring alternative housing options

Factors that can affect rental prices include:

  • Population growth, as an increase in population leads to higher demand and potentially higher rental prices
  • Increased migration, which can contribute to overvalued house prices
  • Housing availability, with a shortage of homes leading to an increase in prices.

Despite these challenges, the rental market in Canberra has stabilised and continues to be one of the most expensive cities for renting.

How Supply and Demand Affect Your Rent

In Canberra, rental prices are significantly swayed by the balance between supply and demand. A stable rental market with a 2 to 3 percent vacancy rate typically leads to consistent rental prices.

However, constrained housing supply has led to a substantial surge in rental rates, with a notable increase of 14% since early 2019, significantly surpassing the national average rise of 4.6%.

Increased demand for rental properties has also led to notable increases in rent prices. For instance, house rental prices have experienced a rise of over 14% in certain areas, and overall rents in the ACT have increased by 4.8% over the past year.

Predicting Future Rent Movements

Understanding various economic and policy indicators is essential for predicting future rental movements. Factors such as:

  • population growth
  • infrastructure projects
  • government initiatives
  • interest rates

Analysing median rent can provide valuable insights into future rent trends.

The increase in population growth can result in higher rental demand and decreased rental vacancies, thereby leading to an increase in rent prices. Therefore, monitoring these indicators can help renters anticipate changes in the rental market and make informed decisions accordingly.

Smart Renting Tips for Tenants in Canberra

Effective navigation of the rental market necessitates smart strategies. For tenants in Canberra, several strategies can improve their chances of securing a rental property and negotiating rent successfully.

Clear communication, consistent follow-up with the property manager, and thorough application form completion are essential for property securing.

Understanding the rental market, such as comparing it to other cities like the Brisbane house prices and the Newcastle property market, can also provide a broader perspective on the current trends and what to expect in the future.

Similarly, when negotiating rent, tenants should avoid certain pitfalls such as not basing their negotiations on the current market rent, and not considering the costs associated with overlapping leases.

Strategies to Secure a Rental Property

Several steps are involved in securing a rental property in Canberra. And to improve your chances, you can check out Soho’s guide on how to make your rental application stand out.

First, tenants need to gather the necessary documents, which typically include proof of income and supporting documents for rental history.

Once the necessary documents are gathered, tenants should follow recommended procedures for renting a property. This includes:

  • Accurate completion of the application form
  • Thorough examination of the property before committing to the lease
  • Timely preparation and submission of all necessary documentation.

Negotiating Rent in Canberra

The renting process includes an essential step – rent negotiation. In Canberra, maintaining a respectful and professional approach, ensuring open communication, presenting clear facts, and establishing a positive relationship with the landlord or agent can lead to successful negotiations.

Research on Canberra rental market trends can provide valuable leverage during rent negotiation. Here are some benefits of understanding current market conditions:

  • Empower tenants to present a stronger case for negotiating lower rent or securing concessions based on available trends and data
  • Tenants in Canberra are entitled to negotiate a reasonable rent increase
  • Safeguarded by tenancy laws that stipulate the reasonableness of any rent increase

Canberra’s Rental Market Compared to Other Capital Cities

When compared to other Australian capital cities, Canberra’s rental market stands out. The average rental prices vary between cities, with Canberra being the most expensive city for renters, boasting a median weekly rent of $681, followed closely by Sydney at $711.

Despite this, Canberra’s overall cost of living is lower compared to many other Australian cities due to factors such as high incomes and housing prices.

Moreover, unlike most other capital cities where rental prices increased in 2023, rent prices in Canberra remained unchanged.

This positions Canberra as the second most affordable capital city for renters based on average household income, despite being the most expensive capital city rental market overall, making it the most expensive capital city.

Where Does Canberra Stand in Rent?

Compared to other capital cities, Canberra’s rental market offers a distinct landscape. Over the past decade, Canberra has seen a peak vacancy rate surpassing other major cities and a slight decrease in median house rents.

Despite being the second most expensive city for renters after Sydney, rental prices in Canberra remained flat in 2023.

When compared to cities like Sydney and Melbourne, the cost of living in Canberra is lower. An individual would need more money to maintain the same standard of life in Sydney compared to Canberra.

Similarly, one would need significantly less to maintain a comparable lifestyle in Melbourne even after considering rent in both cities.

On the other hand, the higher rental prices in Canberra, as compared to Adelaide and Hobart, are a result of population growth leading to an increased demand for rental properties and a limited supply of these properties.

The Cost of Living in a Capital City like Canberra

Residing in a capital city like Canberra incurs specific costs. The monthly cost of housing and utilities for a one-bedroom apartment is approximately $230.

To maintain a similar standard of living as in Sydney, an individual would need around $9,962.4 in Canberra, whereas it would only take $10,000 in Sydney.

Everyday expenses such as groceries and transportation also add up. The typical grocery expenditure for a household in Canberra is usually around $160 per week. Transportation expenses for an adult encompass various options based on the type of ticket, including:

  • MyWay new card fee of $5.00
  • Peak single trip fares at $3.14
  • Off-peak single trip fares at $1.57
  • Single trip tickets at $4.90
  • Daily tickets for $9.60


Decoding the rental landscape in Canberra reveals a dynamic market shaped by various factors. From the type and location of properties to market supply and demand, these elements significantly influence rental prices.

While Canberra is one of the most expensive cities for renters, it also provides a range of options suiting different budgets and preferences.

By understanding these market dynamics and employing smart renting strategies, tenants can navigate the market more effectively, securing better deals and making informed decisions.

Suggested reading: Take a step further and check out our full guide on Australian property market cycles. It’s a must-read for property enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it expensive to rent in Canberra?

Yes, the median rent for all dwellings in Canberra is $681, which is the highest of all capital cities. The median rent for houses is $722, and for units, it is $582.

What is the average cost to live in Canberra?

On average, it costs approximately AU$33,000 a year to live in Canberra, covering basic expenses like accommodation, food, utilities, and clothing. This amounts to about AU$640 per week.

What is the average rent in Canberra 2023?

The average rent for houses in Canberra was $680 per week in 2023, showing a slight decrease from the previous year.

Which suburbs in Canberra offer the most affordable rentals?

The most affordable suburbs for rentals in Canberra are Ngunnawal, Gordon, Phillip, Holt, and Belconnen, offering a range of options for those looking for affordable housing.

What factors influence rental prices in Canberra?

Rental prices in Canberra are influenced by the type of property, its location, proximity to amenities, and overall suburb desirability. Factors such as these play a significant role in determining rental costs.

Disclaimer: Images in this article may have been optimised using AI

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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