Is It Cheaper to Rent in Melbourne?

November 28, 2023
Is it cheaper to rent in Melbourne?

Key takeaways:

    • Rental prices in Melbourne are lower compared to cities like Sydney, Canberra, and Darwin.

    • The pandemic and closed international borders have made renting in Melbourne more affordable.

    • Melbourne’s urban sprawl provides more affordable housing options.

    • However, rental prices in Melbourne may rise in the future as the rental market bounces back

Is it cheaper to rent in Melbourne? In short, Melbourne sits around the midsection of capital city rental prices in Australia.

Melbourne’s median house rent has reached a record high of $520 after seven consecutive quarters of rent increases. However, even with this rise, Melbourne’s median house rent remains significantly lower than cities like Sydney, Canberra, and Darwin.

The pandemic and the closure of international borders have contributed to the affordability of renting in Melbourne, as many people left the city and international students were unable to return.

Melbourne has historically had lower rental prices compared to Sydney and Canberra, and its urban sprawl allows for more affordable housing options. However, it’s important to note that the rental market in Melbourne is bouncing back, and there is a possibility that rental prices will rise in the future.

Comparing Melbourne’s Rental Costs to Sydney

Melbourne and Sydney, Australia’s two largest cities, have long been compared in terms of housing costs. When it comes to renting, Melbourne offers a more affordable option compared to Sydney.

When it comes to renting, Melbourne offers a more affordable option compared to Sydney. The median rent in Melbourne is $170 cheaper than Sydney’s, making it an attractive choice for those looking to save on housing costs.

The difference in housing costs is also reflected in the median house value. Melbourne’s median home value climbed to $755,871 in May 2023​​, significantly lower than Sydney’s median of $1,031,138​​. This further highlights the affordability gap between the two cities.

To understand more about living costs in Melbourne, explore our article – How much does it cost to live comfortably in Melbourne?

Another factor to consider is the percentage of household income spent on rent. In Sydney, this percentage is higher compared to Melbourne. The dwelling value to household income ratio in Sydney is also much higher, suggesting a higher cost of housing in relation to income.

The disparity in housing costs between Melbourne and Sydney can be attributed to several reasons. Melbourne’s ability to build more dwellings and its urban sprawl contributes to a greater supply of housing options, helping to keep rental costs lower​​.

On the other hand, Sydney faces restrictions on building height, which may limit the supply of housing, leading to higher prices.

For more insights into what constitutes a good rental percentage, see what is a good rental percentage?

Factors Affecting Rental Costs in Melbourne

The housing market in Melbourne has seen significant rental growth, resulting in a record high for median rent prices. However, the impact of the pandemic and the closure of international borders have had a mitigating effect on rental costs in the city.

With many people leaving Victoria during the pandemic, the rental sector has been more affected compared to the home-ownership sector. Additionally, international students and expat renters were locked out of Melbourne’s rental market for an extended period.

Melbourne’s urban sprawl, in comparison to cities like Sydney, has allowed for more affordable housing options. The availability of land and expansion opportunities has helped to keep rental costs relatively lower in Melbourne.

However, experts warn that relying solely on urban sprawl is not a long-term solution to the housing shortage. They suggest prioritizing densification in middle-ring suburbs, incentivizing downsizing for Baby Boomers, and increasing housing supply and infrastructure in regional centres.

“Urban sprawl is not a sustainable solution to the housing shortage. We need to focus on creating more housing options in existing suburbs and regional areas to address the growing demand.”

In order to address the housing shortage and ensure affordable rental options in Melbourne, it is crucial to implement strategies that promote a diverse and sustainable housing market.

This includes a combination of targeted development, infrastructure investment, and policy initiatives that support both affordable rentals and home ownership.

Table: Factors Affecting Rental Costs in Melbourne

Housing MarketThe overall state of the housing market, including demand, supply, and investment trends.
Rental GrowthThe rate at which rental prices are increasing or decreasing over a specific period of time.
Vacancy RateThe percentage of rental properties that are unoccupied or available for rent in a given area.
Urban SprawlThe expansion of urban areas into surrounding regions, resulting in lower housing costs in certain areas.
Housing ShortageThe insufficient supply of affordable housing options to meet the demand of the population.

To explore real estate options in Melbourne, visit real estate to rent in Melbourne.

By considering these factors and implementing targeted strategies, it is possible to address the rental cost challenges in Melbourne and create a more affordable and sustainable housing market for its residents.

Suggested reading: If you’re curious about the availability of rental homes in the area, you’ll want to read our article on Is there a shortage of rental properties in Melbourne? as a valuable resource.

Is It Cheaper to Rent in Melbourne?

FAQs on ‘Is It Cheaper to Rent in Melbourne?’

What are the Disadvantages of Living in Melbourne?

While Melbourne is a vibrant and culturally rich city, it has some downsides. One of the main disadvantages is its unpredictable weather, often described as having “four seasons in one day.”

Additionally, Melbourne has a high cost of living, which can be a challenge for some residents. Its remote location, particularly from other major international cities, can also be considered a disadvantage.

Where is the Cheapest but Nicest Place to Live in Australia?

The Gold Coast ranks as one of the cheapest places to live in Australia while offering a high quality of life. It is 89th globally in terms of affordability.

Known for its excellent education system and budget-friendly living, the Gold Coast is an ideal location for international students, balancing study with a vibrant social life, stunning beaches, and exciting nightlife.

What is a Good Salary to Live in Melbourne?

A comfortable salary range in Melbourne is between $66,000 and $100,000 per year, or $5,500 to $8,300 per month. To maintain a comfortable but modest lifestyle, a family of four would require about $3,067 per month, while a single person would need around $1,500 a month.

Are Melbourne People Friendly?

Melbourne is known for its friendly locals. It ranked 12th in terms of the highest share of reviews mentioning “friendly” for main attractions among 27 peer cities. Furthermore, 72% of expatriates in Melbourne believe the locals are friendly, compared to a global average of 66%

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