A few months ago, my best friend and I were among some of the unlucky people faced with trying to find a home to live in during a brutal rental crisis. In February 2023, Aussies were lining the streets and shuffling in and out of prospective apartments in search of a place to live. 10 months on, it's still looking grim.
Thanks to Australia's rental crisis, the process of finding a home at an affordable price feels nearly impossible and has left so many feeling exhausted, powerless and frustrated.
Nerida Conisbee, Ray White's chief economist and one of Australia's leading property experts, previously explained to Mamamia that the rental crisis has been building for "quite some time".
Watch: Here Are Some Of The World's Most Unique Airbnb Rentals. Post continues below.
She told The Quicky: "What we saw through the pandemic was very, very strong increases in house prices... [and] we also saw very strong growth in rents. And part of it was [due] to a significant shift in population levels. So places like Queensland, for example, did attract a lot of people from down south... We also saw quite strong rental growth in places like Melbourne and Sydney.
"Now the pandemic is over, we've got additional pressure because population growth has started again [and] international migration is up again, and we also have a construction crisis, so that's starting to bite in terms of housing supply. We do have a shortage of homes, in many places."
Conisbee said the amount of people who have purchased a holiday home during the pandemic hasn't helped with supply either.
"In some local councils, we've seen a very big increase in the number of Airbnbs and also vacant homes. At the same time, there are a lot of people who need long-term rental accommodation. So there is a bit of a mismatch in some of these smaller regional areas in terms of what's available."
As someone who had to go through the process, and eventually did find an apartment within 20 minutes of work, within 10 minutes of a train station and just a few steps away from a supermarket, I won't lie and tell you it was easy.
In fact, despite remaining hopeful and optimistic, I couldn't help but feel I had to prepare for the worst.
As such, I've tasked myself with finding a property for everyone wanting to move out of home or move to a new place to live, by looking at myself and comparing what it is looking like for prospective tenants all over Australia. I travelled all over the property Domain app map to find a property that ticked these boxes:
- $600 or less
- At least two to three bedrooms
- One functioning, clean bathroom
- A functional kitchen
- Within 20 minutes from the CBD by public transport or walking
You would think this would be an easy feat considering I'm not asking TOO much (just FIVE asks after all), but it really was a massive feat. Here's what I found:
Sydney CBD, New South Wales
What I found: A cosy, but not very spacious 2 bedroom apartment in Marrickville.
Distance to the CBD: 40 minutes by train, or one hour by bus.
Sydney is one of the most expensive cities to live in, so I knew this was going to be an interesting task. I knew from my experience in looking for rentals near the city that could house my best friend and me, that looks can be deceiving. What I mean by that is that a seemingly functional kitchen could be missing the pipes needed to funnel water out of an apartment... Yup, in Sydney things like that actually DO happen.
Nonetheless, I found this apartment in Marrickville, about a 10-minute walk to Marrickville train station. It's a pretty good get for someone who wants to live near the city but away from the hustle and bustle (and if you do want to be in the city, then you should probably raise your budget).
Perth, Western Australia
What I found: A large three-bedroom house with two bathrooms in Maylands.
Distance to the CBD: 20 minutes by bus.
I have never been to Perth, nor have I ever considered it to be a viable city for me to live in, but after seeing all I can get with just $600, I have begun changing my mind.
Look, it's a pretty big house, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, plenty of garage space, a front yard AND a backyard. Plus, after chatting with a colleague who used to live in Perth, I know that this Maylands' property is only about 30 minutes from the CBD. Talk about a win. Amirite?
What I found: A high-rise, newly built apartment in the heart of Melbourne with two bedrooms.
Distance to the CBD: Maybe 10-15 minutes, depending on where you work.
I love Melbourne. I think it is a fantastic little city with good food, okay-ish coffee (I am a loyal Sydneysider, after all!) and pretty acceptable rental prices.
Victoria hasn't been easy on Aussies either when it comes to rentals, but I did manage to find this wonderful little number. It's not huge, but it is newer, clean and perfect for those wanting to live minimally and close to work.
What I found: An open-plan apartment with a pretty impressive floor plan and kitchen. There are two bedrooms and it's an iconic building on offer.
Distance to the CBD: Everything is within walking distance and 5-10 minutes away is a bus or train station.
I used to live in Brisbane as a child, but I didn't get to experience the iconic nightlife that the city is made for. With this apartment, you probably wouldn't be able to get a minute's sleep. Unfortunately, Brisbane doesn't offer too many properties that have a ton of photos attached, so I went with a place that I would personally want to live in. Behold, this gigantic, art déco beauty:
Adelaide, South Australia
What I found: A beautifully renovated home with two bedrooms.
Distance to the CBD: Everything is within a 5-minute drive or walk.
I LOVE Adelaide. This home is the perfect representation of everything the city encapsulates: a deep respect for its beautiful history. Imagine this house in Sydney. It would cost about $1200 a week.