An Inside Look at NSW Renting Activity

The highest proportion of renters in NSW live in the inner-city and less than ten per cent of people in remote areas rent. 

Parramatta — Roseville had the highest proportion of renters in NSW at 71 per cent and seven of the top ten locations with the highest proportion of renters are in inner-city locations around the Sydney CBD and harbour.

Undertaking an analysis of the 2016 census, Sophie Chick, head of residential research at Savills Australia, examined renting trends in NSW — providing an overview of how people live and where the biggest changes have occurred in the state.

Insights by Savills Head of Residential Research Sophie Chick.

Where do renters live?

Across NSW, 32 per cent of households rent rather than own their homes. However, there is huge variation across the state with the proportion of rented households ranging from two thirds in some inner city locations to less than ten per cent in more remote areas.

Seven of the top ten locations with the highest proportion of renters are unsurprisingly in inner city locations around the Sydney CBD and harbour. This was due to the number of properties owned by investors and strong rental demand. Many young professionals chose to rent for longer in more desirable, central locations close to work and amenities rather than buy a property on the outskirts of a city.

Perhaps more surprisingly, Parramatta – Rosehill topped the list as the location with the highest proportion of renters in NSW. Parramatta was going through a significant transformation, benefitting from infrastructure projects, development activity and population growth. This created a vibrant city, which is popular with renters and still more affordable than areas around the Sydney CBD.

Which locations saw the biggest increases in renters?

The results from the 2016 Census showed that the trend towards renting rather than owner occupying has continued. The proportion of renters in NSW has increased over the past five years by two per cent but some areas have seen larger changes than others.

The location which saw the biggest increase was ‘Arncliffe – Bardwell Valley’ and the top ten list also includes two other locations around Botany Bay. This area, along with a cluster of locations around Homebush, has seen a large rise in the number of renters due to high density development activity and therefore an increased number of investor buyers and rental stock available.

Two locations on top ten list are outside of Sydney. Seventh on the list is ‘Shortland – Jesmond’ in Newcastle, demonstrating the city’s evolution into an attractive destination for young professionals.

Maitland in the Lower Hunter Valley also makes the top ten although it has increased from lower base than the rest of the list.

In central Sydney, while the majority of locations saw an increase in private renters, a few affluent waterfront suburbs saw the numbers fall, most notably ‘Balmain’ and ‘Manly – Fairlight’. These are suburbs with a lower level of development activity and the properties that were built were often targeted at owner occupiers.

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