There has been media coverage following recent release of the Rental Affordability Index from SGS Economics. Most commentary has related to the capitals. The Cairns region displays in the acceptable to affordable range with numbers apparently not far out of line with Townsville and Mackay despite the rental gap which has opened up.
However it isn’t quite so positive at the alternative Queensland Rental Vulnerability Index from UNSW: Two pictures of rental housing stress and vulnerability zero in on areas of need.
Mapping this out we see that rental vulnerability in Queensland is highest in the regions. In particular, it is high around Bundaberg, Fraser Coast and Gympie, with a band of vulnerability skirting the regions west and south of Brisbane. Cairns also has several highly vulnerable postcodes.
There is also a report from Anglicare Australia released last month which includes commentary on Cairns: Rental Affordability Snapshot
The Snapshot highlights very little change from the 2016 Snapshot in terms of the statistics relating to affordable and appropriate household type. The findings indicate that approximately 6.3% of advertised properties were available (47 properties) to households on income support and approximately 25% of the advertised properties (188 properties) were available to households on a minimum wage.
The 2017 Snapshot reveals 72 fewer properties listed from the previous Snapshot in 2016 and again 61 properties down from 2015. Cairns is experiencing a housing shortage overall, and a gradual decrease in available private rental stock more specifically.
The Rental Affordability Snapshot for the Cairns Regional Government Area for 2017 evidences three key issues:
The rental market is priced beyond the means for household types with income less than that of a couple with two children, where both adults earn the minimum wage and are in receipt of FTB (A).
The Snapshot evidences a consistent decline in available properties for rent. This is certain to be putting even more downward pressure on household types with low incomes in Cairns.
There is insufficient social housing stock within the Cairns Regional Government Area.
I haven’t had time to look through the different methodologies which may have to wait for the next round of rental data.