In the quest for affordable living in Victoria, these suburbs of Melbourne emerge as a beacon of cost-effective options. Notably, Melbourne’s suburb of Melton distinguishes itself as the cheapest suburb for both housing and unit rentals.
With a median weekly rent of $374 for houses and $337 for units, Melton offers an unparalleled blend of affordability and accessibility in Melbourne’s rental landscape. This article delves into the most affordable suburbs in Melbourne, showcasing options that balance cost and livability.
We’ll also explore the broader context of rental affordability in regional Victoria, identifying areas where the cost of renting remains within reach for average earners.
Melbourne’s Most Affordable Suburbs
Melton: The Cheapest Suburb to Rent in Melbourne
Melton stands out as Melbourne’s most affordable suburb for rentals. CoreLogic’s data reveals a striking contrast in rental costs within Melbourne: while the median rent in Brighton, one of the priciest suburbs, is $1,294 per week for a house, in Melton, this drops dramatically to just $374 weekly.
Check out more properties in Melton
Exploring Other Budget-Friendly Melbourne Suburbs
Apart from Melton, Melbourne boasts several other suburbs where renting remains accessible. Suburbs like Kurunjang, Broadmeadows, and Brookfield offer median weekly rents for houses under $425, highlighting their affordability.
For instance, the weekly median rent in Kurunjang is $392, Broadmeadows stands at $404, and Brookfield is at $405. These suburbs not only provide affordable housing but also present viable alternatives for those who wish to live close to the central business district (CBD) without breaking the bank.
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While considering affordable suburbs, it’s also important to understand the other side of the spectrum. To learn about the riskiest suburbs for property investment in Melbourne, you can read more at What are the riskiest suburbs to buy property Melbourne?.
The Landscape of Affordable Rentals in Regional Victoria
Limited Affordable Options Outside Greater Melbourne
In stark contrast to Melbourne, the rest of Victoria offers limited affordable rental options. A report by the National Shelter-SGS Economics and Planning highlights that only three Victorian postcodes outside Greater Melbourne have affordable rentals in 2023: Kerang, Nhil, and Numurkah.
This scarcity of affordable rentals underscores the challenges faced by those seeking budget-friendly living options in regional Victoria. Let’s take a closer look at these postcodes.
Kerang, Nhil, and Numurkah: Affordable Havens in Regional Victoria
Kerang: A Northern Gem
Kerang, located in Victoria’s north, emerges as an oasis of affordability in a landscape where rental costs are often prohibitive. This quaint town, known for its serene environment and close-knit community, presents an appealing option for those looking to escape the hustle of city life.
The affordability of Kerang is particularly striking, as the town’s rentals fall within the range that’s considered affordable for average income earners. This makes Kerang an ideal choice for families and individuals seeking a balance between cost and quality of life, away from the urban sprawl.
Check out more properties to rent in Kerang VIC.
Nhil: Serenity in the Northwest
Nhil, nestled in Victoria’s northwest, offers a unique blend of affordability and tranquility. Renowned for its beautiful natural landscapes and peaceful living, Nhil represents an affordable alternative to the soaring rental markets found in larger cities.
The town’s rental market caters to a diverse demographic, from retirees looking for a quiet place to settle down to young families seeking a cost-effective living solution. In Nhil, residents can enjoy the benefits of rural living, such as lower living costs and a slower pace of life, while still having access to essential amenities.
Numurkah: Affordability North of Shepparton
Numurkah, situated just north of Shepparton, is another suburb that stands out in the affordability index. Its close proximity to Shepparton means that residents can enjoy the perks of a larger town, such as more job opportunities and diverse services, while benefiting from the lower rental prices of a smaller community.
Numurkah’s affordable rentals make it an attractive destination for those who want the best of both worlds: the peace of a country town and the convenience of nearby urban centres.
The High Cost of Renting in the Surf Coast
The Surf Coast is currently the most expensive area for renters in regional Victoria. In locales such as Torquay, Barwon Heads, and Ocean Grove, the average rental household spends more than 38% of their income on rent.
This high cost starkly contrasts with the affordability found in certain Melbourne suburbs, highlighting the diverse rental landscape across Victoria. For those considering different areas of Melbourne, understanding the pros and cons of each side is crucial. Find out more about which side of Melbourne might be better to live at Which side of Melbourne is better to live?
Economic Impact of Rental Affordability in Victoria
The Ripple Effect on Local Economies
The rental affordability crisis in Victoria extends beyond individual households, significantly impacting local economies. According to SGS Economics & Planning, unaffordability has caused a disconnection between affordable housing and job centers, particularly in regional areas.
This spatial mismatch is creating challenges for businesses in attracting and retaining workers, especially in critical sectors like healthcare and education.
In Victoria, nursing homes struggle to find nurses, schools face difficulties in hiring teachers, and the construction industry is hindered in its ability to build new houses due to this affordability crisis.
The Strain on Average Income Earners
For the average household in regional Victoria, earning an annual income of $81,566, the situation is becoming increasingly dire. Rental affordability has slipped to a moderately unaffordable score of 112 on the Rental Affordability Index, meaning that the average household now spends approximately 27% of its income on rent.
This increasing financial burden on renters highlights the need for urgent interventions from state and federal governments to alleviate the pressure and prevent further escalation of the crisis.
Trends in Rental Prices: Decreases in Some Areas
Positive Shifts in Certain Regions
While the overall picture of rental affordability in Victoria might seem bleak, there are regions where rental prices have begun to decrease. Notably, the Ararat council area experienced the most significant drop in asking rents for houses, decreasing by 5.6% to $340 per week.
This trend is a welcome respite for residents and could signal a potential shift towards more balanced rental markets in some parts of regional Victoria.
Analysis of Regional Rental Market Dynamics
In six of the 35 council areas, including Moyne and areas along the Surf Coast, rents were either stagnant or falling. This contrasts sharply with the rental spikes seen during the pandemic, where rents in these regions had skyrocketed by 26% to 40%.
These fluctuations reflect the dynamic nature of Victoria’s rental market and suggest that while some areas are experiencing relief, others continue to grapple with high rental costs.
Deep Dive: For a deeper dive into local insights, our article on the best suburbs to live in Melbourne is a must-read next step!
FAQ: Rental Market in Melbourne, Victoria
Where Is It Cheaper to Buy Than Rent in Victoria?
According to research highlighted by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, there are only seven Melbourne suburbs where it’s cheaper to buy a unit than rent. These suburbs include Travancore, Carlton, Bundoora, Notting Hill, Epping, Sydenham, and Truganina, offering an advantage for first-home buyers in the unit market.
Is There a Rental Crisis in Victoria?
Yes, there is a rental crisis in Victoria. Victoria’s rental vacancy rate hit a record low in September, with tenants competing for fewer than 8,000 available homes. This has led to an increase in rental prices and a more competitive market for tenants.
Why Is Renting So Hard in Melbourne?
Renting in Melbourne has become challenging due to a tight vacancy rate of 0.9 percent, as per Domain data. Factors contributing to this include increased demand for space due to a shift towards remote work and limited availability of rental properties.
Are Rents Going Up or Down in Melbourne?
Rents in Melbourne are on the rise. According to The Age, landlords have increased weekly rents for Melbourne’s most affordable homes by $75 in the past year. The median advertised lease for units has surged by 17.9 per cent to $495 a week, driven by higher demand for inner-city flats and apartments.
Is There a Demand for Rentals in Melbourne?
Yes, there is a high demand for rentals in Melbourne. CoreLogic reports that Melbourne leads the capitals in quarterly rental growth, with dwelling rents rising by 3.9% in the quarter. This is followed by increases in Perth, Sydney, Adelaide, and Brisbane, indicating a robust rental market in Melbourne.