From September '20 to June '23, rents across Australia's eight capital cities had grown by nearly a third.

After a surge to regional areas during the pandemic, housing preferences have normalised, with demand returning to Australia's largest cities in a big way.

Combined with strong net overseas migration, which is typically concentrated towards Sydney, Melbourne and the other major cities, it's a difficult time to be looking for a rental property.

CoreLogic's most recent rental review found vacancy rates in the capital cities were at 1% in September, a new record low.

Despite this though, rental growth has tempered recently, slowing in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide in the September quarter.

CoreLogic economist Eliza Owen says that with rents so high, as well as the slowdown in income growth caused by elevated interest rates, tenants are starting to avoid expensive areas.

"In the 12 months to June last year, ABS data showed more affordable rental markets like Logan/Beaudesert and Ipswich [both Queensland] with the first and third highest volume of net internal migration across the country," she said.

With tenants in mind who want to live in the city, but save on rent, CoreLogic has revealed the cheapest suburbs to rent within 20kms of capital city centres, as of September '23.

Read more: Why rental rates might get back under control in 2024



Suburb Region Median rent
Auburn Parramatta $648
South Granville Parramatta $657
Granville Parramatta $673
Regents Park Parramatta $675
Sefton Parramatta $676
Sydney median  $775


Suburb Region Median rent
Berala Parramatta $486
Wiley Park Inner South West $491
Punchbowl Inner South West $498
Lakemba Inner South West $501
Regents Park Parramatta $509
Sydney median  $680

Renters hunting for a bargain in Sydney will be drawn to Parramatta and the Inner South West.

For houses, the Parramatta suburbs are available at about a 15% discount from the median rate in Sydney, while tenants who rent a unit in Berala could expect to save more than 28% per week in rent.



Suburb Region Median rent
Albanvale Melbourne West $441
Laverton Melbourne West $441
Broadmeadows Melbourne North-West $441
Kings Park Melbourne West $442
Ardeer Melbourne West $443
Melbourne median $575


Suburb Region Median rent
Albion Melbourne West $366
St Albans Melbourne West $398
Deer Park Melbourne West $406
Kingsville Melbourne West $411
Thomastown Melbourne North-East $420
Melbourne median $528

There are cheap rents available heading away from the Melbourne CBD, but Ms Ezzy said some tenants should assess their situation before heading west.

"Despite being within 20kms of the CBD, commute times from suburbs like Albanvale and Kings Park to the city are around an hour by public transport," she explained.

"This means they may not be ideal locations for students or young professionals working in the city."

Melbourne's West does though boast employment hubs nearby, around industrial and warehouse precincts.



Suburb Region Median rent
Woodridge Logan/Beaudesert $501
Inala Ipswich $503
Ellen Grove Ipswich $523
Darra Ipswich $526
Rocklea South Brisbane $544
Brisbane median $638


Suburb Region Median rent
Woodridge Logan/Beaudesert $352
Rochedale South Logan/Beaudesert $436
Strathpine Moreton Bay South $446
Brendale Moreton Bay South $459
Alexandra Hills East Brisbane $468
Brisbane median $554

Woodridge was not only the lowest median rent for both houses and units of Brisbane suburbs, but also has the cheapest units to rent of any suburb in Australia within 20kms of a capital city.

If you're looking for a cheap rental in Brisbane, Woodridge is around 20 minutes from the Brisbane CBD on public transport, and also has Logan City nearby.

Investors might also be interested to hear rental yields for units in Woodridge were 7.0% in September.



Suburb Region Median rent
Salisbury North Adelaide $473
Brahma Lodge North Adelaide $475
Salisbury Downs North Adelaide $478
Paralowie North Adelaide $498
Taperoo West Adelaide $502
Adelaide median $568


Suburb Region Median rent
Salisbury East North Adelaide $361
Salisbury North Adelaide $378
Kilburn North Adelaide $397
Klemzig North Adelaide $402
St Marys  South Adelaide $403
Adelaide median $463

Bargain hunters in Adelaide should look north, where eight of the 10 cheapest suburbs are situated.

The Salisbury area in particular boosts rental properties available at heavily discounted rates from the state average, for both houses and units.



Suburb Region Median rent
Girrawheen North West Perth $491
Gosnells South East Perth $501
Midland North East Perth $503
Middle Swan North East Perth $518
Koondoola North West Perth $519
Perth median $613


Suburb Region Median rent
Midland North East Perth $433
Gosnells South East Perth $441
Noranda North East Perth $445
Hamilton Hill South West Perth $457
Coolbellup South West Perth $462
Perth median $538

Perth has seen the strongest rental growth of all Australia's major cities since the pandemic, rising 44.9% over the past three years.

Areas like Girrawheen, where houses are available for rent nearly 20% cheaper than the average for Perth, are likely to start to become more popular.



Suburb Region Median rent
Bridgewater Hobart $485
Midway Point Hobart $501
Chigwell Hobart $501
Claremont Hobart $509
Berriedale Hobart $516
Hobart median $541


Suburb Region Median rent
Claremont Hobart $411
West Moonah Hobart $422
Glenorchy Hobart $431
Lindisfarne Hobart $456
New Town Hobart $463
Hobart median $463

After the boom Hobart experienced in the 2010s, it has bucked the national trend with rents declining 1.7% over the year to September.

There are still pockets where cheaper rentals are available in Hobart, but the discount rate is less dramatic than other cities.



Suburb Region Median rent
Higgins ACT $597
Scullin ACT $598
Page ACT $599
Charnwood ACT $599
Holt ACT $599
Canberra median $686


Suburb Region Median rent
Lyons ACT $468
Chifley ACT $494
Hawker ACT $501
Mawson ACT $528
Gungahlin ACT $529
Canberra median $569

Canberra is similar to Hobart, also experiencing an annual decline in rental values, but the capital is still among the most expensive area in Australia to rent.

The suburb with the lowest rental prices for houses were an average of 12.7% below the city average, and about 11% lower for units.



Suburb Region Median rent
Moulden Palmerston $539
Gray Palmerston $549
Driver Palmerston $564
Woodroffe Palmerston $587
Bakewell Palmerston $591
Darwin median $675


Suburb Region Median rent
Bakewell Darwin $457
Leanyer Darwin $468
Coconut Grove Darwin $475
Millner Darwin $478
Rapid Creek Darwin $494
Darwin median $519

Darwin was one of the cities that has seen the most dramatic growth to rental rates in recent years, up 35.7% since 2020.

Tenants paying the median rent in Darwin would have seen their weekly repayments increase by $162 during that time.

The cheapest houses in Darwin were concentrated in the satellite city of Palmerston, while some of the cheapest suburbs to rent units were closer to the city and coast line.

Photo by Andrew Mead on Unsplash