Renters are saving thousands of dollars a year by moving home as the coronavirus crunch causes a surge in vacancies and plunging rents.
The closure of Australia’s borders in March and rising unemployment has driven down weekly rent by 20.9 per cent in Sydney’s CBD.
Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Sydney city costs an average of $750 a week, down from $950 a year ago.
The plunging prices, shared by data analytics firm SQM Research, has spread beyond the CBD, with rental bargains on offer in nearby Pyrmont, Mascot and Ultimo.
Pyrmont and Mascot both saw a decline of 16.1 per cent, with average weekly rent for two-bedroom apartments costing $652 and $629 respectively.
There was a 12.2 per cent drop in Ultimo, where renters can expect to pay an average of $659 each week, while tenants in Surry Hills can pay $682 following an 11.6 per cent decrease in rent.
Vacancy rates in Sydney’s CBD were at 16.2 per cent in May and 13.8 per cent in June, as the city continues to grapple with the COVID-19 crisis.
Before the pandemic, rental vacancy for Sydney city was at 4.6 per cent in February.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher told The Daily Telegraph the rental market was stronger further out from the city.
‘If you considered the Blue Mountains, we’re seeing rental vacancy rates plummeting – I believe this is a result of people trying to get away from the city,’ he said.
Renter Genevieve Turner recently moved into an apartment in Chatswood, on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, from Redfern.
The 36-year-old’s rental cost was slashed from $620 to $535.
‘The biggest thing which takes my wage is my rent … I really did not expect to get a nearly $100 discount,’ she said.
‘I notice properties which normally would not be available for a day are sitting on the market.’