The findings

On our snapshot day of 26 March 2021, there were 74,266 properties listed for rent across Australia. The results show that there is a chronic shortage of affordable rentals across Australia.

We found that there is a major disconnect between the commentary on the rental market and how it’s actually working for those on the lowest incomes. Many will be surprised to learn that affordability has not improved for these people. Instead, it has crashed.


Out of 74,266 listings, we found just three rentals (0 percent) that were affordable for a single person on the JobSeeker payment, all sharehouses.

In spite of a major surge in listings, neither Melbourne nor Sydney had any affordable listings for a person on JobSeeker.

There were no listings (0 percent) that were affordable for a person on Youth Allowance anywhere in the country.


People with disabilities face unique challenges in this market. Some will find that the rentals listed in this Snapshot don’t meet their needs, and for many people, the Disability Support Pension is too low to allow them to rent a home that does. A single person on the Disability Support Pension could afford less than one percent of rentals at the time of our Snapshot.

Disability pensioners

The most generous of government payments is the Age Pension. Yet for a couple living on the Age Pension, only two percent of rentals were affordable. Single retirees have it even worse, with less than one percent of listings left to compete for.

Age pensioners

Working people are hardly better off. A single person working full-time on the minimum wage will find that only one percent of rentals are affordable.

Of all of the households featured in our Snapshot, families with two parents in full-time work stand the best chance of finding an affordable home. Even they will find they are locked out of 85 percent of the rentals we surveyed.

Minimum wage families

All of this shows a continued decline in affordability. Compared with 2020, every single household type is worse off as rents continue to rise for the Australians who can afford it least.

To find out more about the results, download the full national report (1 mb).

To find out more about how these households fare in each region of Australia, download our regional snapshots.

» Download all regional reports (8.8 mb)
» ACT, NSW South, and NSW West
» Northern Territory
NSW – Hunter Region and Central Coast
NSW – North Coast
NSW – Northern Inland
NSW – Greater Sydney and the Illawarra
Queensland – Central
Queensland – North
Queensland – Greater Brisbane
SA – Adelaide
SA – Limestone Coast, Murray Mallee and Riverland
SA – Willochra
Western Australia