The current rental crisis across Australia appears like it will be here to stay for some time. In all capitals city and certain regional markets, it is almost impossible to find something to rent. There are stories of people looking for weeks and even months to find something. In capitals like Brisbane and Perth, rent as compared to property values is very high and not going to slow down. This is great news if you are a landlord but not so great if you are a tenant.

So, what has been the cause of this issue?

The root cause of the issue is the massive demand for housing and the severe lack of supply. Demand is created by population growth. If people are moving into an area, they need to be housed. Capitals like Perth and Brisbane currently have high population growth rates due to increased job opportunities and people leaving Sydney and Melbourne in search of a better quality of life with a cheaper cost of living. The supply in Australia is not keeping up with demand. We are falling way short of where we need to be. The main cause of this is local city councils choking off the supply by bureaucratic incompetency and slowing the process up by unnecessary red tape. There have been many developments that never meet the approval process due to council incompetencies. While state and federal government scream out that they want house prices to come down and be more affordable, unfortunately local council are a law unto themselves and are not necessarily as progressive as higher-level government which is a little more forward thinking. Council departments stay on when governments change. They typically have jobs for life and therefore don’t really care about what happens to the greater population and are only concerned about ticking boxes surrounding compliance. Until this is sorted, there will always be a major shortage and government will look for band aid measures to try and make property more affordable such as grants.