House rents rose across most of the capital cities in 2020, headed by double-digit rises in Perth and Darwin.

New data from Domain shows that the average result for the eight capital cities was an annual rise of 5% in house rents, following a 2% increase in the December Quarter.

Perth was the city leader, up 13.5%, followed by Darwin (10.6%). Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra all recorded annual rises between 3% and 5%. Even Melbourne, despite its lockdowns, managed a 2.3% annual rise in house rentals.

But the biggest rent rises occurred in regional Australia, with centres like Rockhampton in Queensland, Portland in Victoria and Yass in NSW, achieving increases above 15%.

Apartment rents presented a two-speed market, with the smaller capital cities recording strong uplift but Sydney and Melbourne experiencing rental decline. Unit rents rose 13% in Perth and 8% in both Adelaide and Darwin. Brisbane and Canberra were up 3-4%.