Melbourne is the national leader for rental growth in the capital cities, which the city’s rents growing on average 2.2% in 2015. Sydney and Canberra both grew 1.9% and Hobart rose 0.6%.

 

Rents in Brisbane and Adelaide held relatively flat for the year, while a marked drop in mining investment sparked a decline in rents in Perth (down 8%) and Darwin (down 13%).

 

The size of the drop in rents in Perth and Darwin mean that the combined capital cities rental figure grew in 2015 at its slowest pace since 1996.

 

Combined capital city rents grew on average 0.3% during 2015, according to CoreLogic RP Data. “We’ve never seen rental growth as sluggish as it is at the moment,” analyst Cameron Kusher said.

 

“We’re expecting to see more of the same over the coming months due to increases in the supply of new housing, rental stock and a further slowdown in migration rates,” he said.

 

New dwelling commencements are expected to ease in 2016 to about 200,000 starts, after increasing for the third consecutive year in 2015 to reach a record 211,860 starts.

The average rent across the capital cities is $486 a week for homes and $464 a week for apartments.