Rental Affordability Index Report November 2016

Produced by National Shelter, Community Sector Banking and SGS Economics & Planning, the RAI is an easy to understand indicator of rental affordability relative to household incomes across Australia. Released biannually, the RAI is intended to complement the Housing Affordability Index (HAI), which is a price index for the purchase of houses.

Adrian Pisarski, Executive Officer of National Shelter, said the index shows “low income households continue to face unaffordable rents and high levels of housing stress despite some improvements in the rental market - additional supply in capitals has not eased rental affordability for low income households”.

The latest Rental Affordability Index shows housing stress is a common reality for people in the rental market, especially those on low incomes, who have little left to spend on essentials like food, electricity, fuel and education, after paying rent,” said Andrew Cairns, CEO Community Sector Banking. “People in the lowest income households are being pushed out of the rental market, and into poverty and homelessness - this situation is most dire in Sydney.”

Ellen Witte, an Associate at SGS Economics and Planning, said it was also a great concern that “although low and single income households are worst off, even average households would struggle if rents become less affordable”.