Sydney has overtaken Darwin and is now the most expensive place to rent a unit in Australia, with the average tenant paying $510 a week. According to data compiled by Domain Group, Melbourne is relatively cheap at $370 a week.

“With rental prices significantly below that of Sydney, Melbourne is definitely a more rental friendly city,” Domain senior economist Andrew Wilson says.

While Sydney was the most expensive place to rent a unit in the September Quarter, it was easier to find a place there compared to Melbourne. Vacancy rates in Melbourne were 1.6%, while Sydney had a 2.3% vacancy rate, according to Domain.

With house rents, Sydney was the second most expensive city, behind Darwin where landlords charge an average $590 a week, despite a 10.6% decline over 12 months.

House rents rose 3.9% to $530 in Sydney over the past 12 months, with Melbourne rents up 2.6% rise to $390. The biggest rent rises were recorded by Hobart, with house rents up 6.5% and units 7.7%.