It seems like every other day, someone is claiming that Australians are in the midst of a rental crisis. But is this actually the case? Are things truly as bad as the naysayers say?
Well, according to the experts, the answer is: Yes, we are in a rental crisis. A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad rental crisis. SQM Research’s managing director Louis Christopher told the REA Group, “Market rents have exploded. Some of our capital cities and regions are recording asking rental increases in excess of 15% over the past 12 months.”
What’s worse, it seems as if the government has exasperated this situation. As Dr. Tim Williams wrote for The Fifth Estate, “In Australia we over-incentivise residential development through cheap money and tax benefits for investors, meaning we deliberately encourage people to become second and third home owners, meaning those on low incomes cannot get into homeownership.”
Evidence of this rental crisis can also be demonstrated in many different stories published across the internet. In May 2022, A Current Affair reported that prices have been so unaffordable that a Brisbane mother has been forced to live in a tent with children.
That very same month, the ABC published a story about Christian Vogl, a Western Australian that’s been forced to sleep in his car. Vogl stated, “No local wants to do the job so other people like me come and do the jobs but there’s no accommodation available for us.”
Moreover, the rotten cherry on top of this melted sundae is the fact that real estate companies are exploiting this situation. They are doing this by offering houses and units that nobody should live in. As one person wrote to The Guardian about a place that they rented, “On our first walk through, the house was a disgusting mess and it smelt.” They then went on to say, “We found out quite quickly that the smell was due to a rising damp problem as well as leaky roofs… With the recent rains there is mould all over the ceiling.”
So, there you have it Australia, we’re in the middle of a rental crisis like you wouldn’t believe. Maybe remember that when you’re going to the polls tomorrow.