Australian Renters Driven into Share Housing by Soaring Costs

⚡️ Highlights:

1. Australia’s record immigration-fueled population growth is driving rental inflation higher, with demand outpacing new housing supply.

2. The tight rental market is expected to persist due to limited supply of new dwellings, strong population growth, and shifting preferences towards more residential space.

3. Poor rental affordability is leading Australians to seek share housing, with demand for share accommodation soaring in January.

4. Despite an 18.8% increase in new property listings compared to last year, demand still significantly outweighs supply, with some suburbs having a seeker to lister ratio of over 100-1.

5. Surging net migration and population growth in the second half of 2023, along with a decline in residential construction indicators, are expected to further exacerbate the demand-supply imbalance in the rental market.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) latest Statement of Monetary Policy (SoMP) has highlighted a pressing issue facing the nation’s rental market: record immigration-fueled population growth is exacerbating rental inflation, pushing more Australians towards share housing as a financial necessity. The RBA’s projections indicate that this trend is likely to persist, with demand outpacing the supply of new housing, tightening rental market conditions further.

Tight Rental Market and High Rent Inflation

Australia’s rental market remains under significant pressure, with a limited supply of new dwellings failing to keep pace with strong population growth and a pandemic-induced preference for more residential space. This has led to a decrease in the average household size, contributing to the ongoing tightness in rental market conditions. As a result, rent inflation remains high, with expectations for this trend to continue.

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The Surge in Share Housing

In response to poor rental affordability, Australians are increasingly turning to share housing. Data from for January shows a record-breaking 212,000 active members on the platform, seeking new homes or housemates. This surge in demand for share housing is further evidenced by a 22% month-on-month increase in new members joining the site, nearly matching the previous year’s record.

Supply-Demand Imbalance Worsens

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported a further increase in net long-term arrivals in the fourth quarter of 2023, suggesting that net overseas migration and population growth reached new highs in the latter half of the year. This influx has intensified demand in the rental market, while forward-looking indicators of residential construction—approvals, commencements, and completions—have plummeted to around decade lows. This growing demand-supply imbalance is expected to lower vacancy rates, raise rents, and force more Australians into share accommodation or homelessness.


The RBA’s insights into Australia’s rental market reveal a challenging landscape for renters, driven by demographic shifts and constrained housing supply. As rental costs continue to climb, share housing emerges as a vital alternative for many, highlighting the need for comprehensive solutions to address the nation’s housing affordability crisis.

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