The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), the state’s peak professional association for the real estate profession, has evaluated a report by Anglicare Australia on rental affordability in Brisbane.
Each year Anglicare Australia conducts the Rental Affordability Snapshot, which is designed to highlight the lived experience of people looking for housing while in receipt of a low income. For the Brisbane snapshot, Anglicare partnered with realestate.com.au and looked at more than 7,400 properties listed on its site for one weekend to create a picture of the city’s affordability.
In their press release, ‘Rental Affordability in Queensland’ 26 April 2016, the REIQ suggest the results of Anglicare’s snapshot research could be misleading, as not all rental properties are listed on realestate.com.au. As other prominent rental portals were not included in the study, Anglicare’s research may not present the most accurate picture of rental affordability and could affect the conclusions drawn.
Two of Anglicare’s key findings were listed by the REIQ as points for concern:
Firstly, the snapshot found that around 11 per cent of advertised rentals (796 listings) would be affordable for a family where two adults worked minimum wage jobs and had two young children.
The snapshot also found that there were very few options for adults, either couples or singles, who were on welfare payments to rent their accommodation without being in financial distress (based on more than 30 per cent of income being allocated to accommodation, which Anglicare state is the commonly used benchmark of affordability).
These results may not be indicative of Brisbane’s rental market as a whole.
The REIQ makes mention of its involvement with a range of organisations to ensure housing affordability is not neglected as a social issue, and forms part of the Housing Affordability Expert Panel and RentConnect, a Queensland Government department that helps those in lower socioeconomic brackets secure affordable housing.
The REIQ advise consumers that the rental listing price is always negotiable and should be regarded as a starting point only. The potential for negotiation will grow over the next 18 months as the supply of apartments comes to market and it is expected that landlords to become more flexible as rents soften and supply continues to grow, thereby improving affordability in Brisbane’s rental market.