Tweed renters to dig deep

RENTAL rates for houses and units are higher in the Richmond-Tweed than for any other region in NSW.

And they come third for regional costs across Australia – being only narrowly less than those on the Gold Coast and a lot less than WA’s Pilbara.

According to property analyst RP Data, the median rents for both houses and units across the country to the end of June were $350 a week.

For units, the Gold Coast is the most expensive regional area in which to rent, with a median weekly rent of $350. The Richmond-Tweed comes in at $330 a week.

For houses, the distinction is more marked. The Gold Coast’s median is $420, while Richmond-Tweed’s is $360.

But regional median prices for houses are skewed by a spike in the rental costs in the resources-rich Pilbara – where median house rents reach a colossal $1400 a week.

No data on unit rentals for the Pilbara are available.

Across the country, units have been outperforming houses for rental growth, according to the data analyst.

“Unit rental markets are continuing to outperform houses; over the last five years the weekly rent on a unit increased by 45.8 per cent, compared with houses at 40pc,” the RP Data report said.

The market has been quiet in the past 12 months, and national rental rates remained flat over the June quarter.

Towns along the coast are historically expensive for renters and are likely to pull up the region’s median figures.

But even Byron Bay has been affected by the lull, acc-ording to property manager Jessica Donovan, of The Professionals.

“The market is really quiet right now – unusually so, even for this time of year, and that has led to rental prices being reduced,” Ms Donovan said.

Prices in the shire ranged from $220 for a studio to $800 a week for a house, she said.

Demand has not slackened in Lismore, where LJ Hooker property manager Georgina Hunter is run off her feet with the demand.

“We’re very busy and have been all year,” she said.

“There is a shortage of good rental properties here.”

The demand is reflected in comparatively high prices for houses – from $260 to $360 a week.

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