In the lead up to the global financial crisis, Australians bought more than $1.3 trillion worth of property and apartments, according to data from real estate website Domain Group.
Now that property is in a state of flux.
As property prices fall, many Australians have turned to private-rental properties and apartments for their financial security.
In some parts of Australia, private-lease rentals are the norm, but in others they have become a new norm.
And as property prices in some states and territories continue to fall, so too do rents.
“Private-lease rent is a bit of a new phenomenon in Australia,” says Mark Ralston, chief economist at RP Data.
“It’s a fairly new phenomenon.
The numbers are still pretty low and the rents are pretty low, but the numbers are trending up.”
Ralton says private-lease rates are a bit lower than average because the supply of property is high.
In NSW, for example, private rents are just shy of $1,000 per month, while Victoria has a private-leasing rate of $3,500 per month.
“In NSW, the number of properties available for private rent is still pretty much the same as it was before the recession, but there are more and more properties available now,” he says.
In the meantime, many Australian property owners are seeing their rental rates rise, which is good news for renters.
“I think people are happy with the rent situation, but they’re still seeing that rent as a real risk factor in the property market,” says Ralstone.
Ralstein says renters are also getting used to the idea of being responsible for their own finances, and the extra responsibility that comes with renting.
“Most people are more comfortable than they were before, and they’re also used to thinking about their financial future,” he adds.
“A lot of people have been putting more thought into how they are going to pay for the rent they’re getting.”
The rising cost of living in Australia has also had a negative impact on people’s savings.
Rental costs have increased by a combined $1 billion in the past year, according the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Rents in Sydney and Melbourne have also risen, but rents in Brisbane are the highest.
According to RP Data, the average rent in Sydney is now $3.1 million, and it’s rising by $200 a month.
In Melbourne, it’s $3 million a month, and rents are up $150 a month in Brisbane.
“What people are really feeling is a real pressure to take on more debt, and there are a lot of factors that are putting that pressure on,” says Josh Hildebrand, head of real estate research at RP.
“You’re looking at the cost of buying a property.
You’re looking to get a mortgage, and you’re looking into the value of your house.”
Property prices and rents have risen in some parts, and in others.
In Sydney, property prices have increased $600,000 in the year to February.
In Brisbane, property values are up by $100,000, while rents have jumped by $150,000.
In Adelaide, property rents are now $1 million a year.
In Tasmania, the national average rent is $2,400 a month and rents in Tasmania are up about $250 a month compared to a year ago.
“This is a relatively new phenomenon,” says Hildebrands.
“The cost of property in some areas of the country has gone up significantly in the last couple of years, and a lot more properties are being snapped up.”
What to do if you’re in need of a property loan?
If you have a rental-backed mortgage, you should be able to access the loan, but some lenders may not be able or won’t accept it.
“Some people who have mortgages that they’re looking for, they don’t have the cash,” says Jason Leinbach, head financial adviser at property brokerage firm, Cushman & Harcourt.
“So they’ll say they can’t lend because they can only get a loan from the bank, but it’s not actually the case.
You might not even have access to a loan at all.”
Some lenders have also told borrowers they won’t lend money unless they meet certain criteria.
“We’re not aware of any lenders who are actively trying to discourage people from getting a loan,” says Leinbeck.
Leinblad says he doesn’t recommend people look for a property finance company, but rather a property agent.
“There’s no doubt that you can find some property agents in Australia who will provide a property, and those agents can get you a loan, and some of the agents have done a lot to encourage people to get into the market.”
Hildebert says if you don’t want to take out a mortgage and are struggling with rent, there are ways to get out of the financial trap.
“If you’re paying more