The biggest winners in the last decade have been the middle-income earners, who have been able to escape the effects of the housing crisis and the economic meltdown.
Photo: Peter Braig The other winners have been middle- and low-income renters, who are seeing their rental costs go down thanks to low interest rates and higher mortgage rates.
But they are also seeing their rents go up as well.
In a statement this week, the RBA warned that rent increases would be “particularly detrimental to those renting privately”.
A number of experts have warned that if rent is rising faster than inflation, it could be a sign that people are becoming increasingly dependent on their landlords.
“I think people have got to get used to being the landlord, and the landlords are the one that are going to have to do something about that,” said David Poulton, an economist at the University of Melbourne.
While the RBC report was based on rental data, Poulson said it was unlikely that rental costs would necessarily increase if the RCA’s figures were wrong.
Rent increases would probably go up even if the rate of inflation is lower, he said.
“We need to make sure that the government is providing a little bit of insulation to those people who are paying higher rent.”
The RBA also cautioned that if rents did increase, it was probably because of “economic uncertainty”, meaning it would be difficult for many households to afford a rent increase.
But if the rental market were to slow down, it might make renting more affordable for renters who have lost jobs or are out of work, or who are not currently renting.
The rise in rents in Victoria is due in part to rising rents across the state.
In January, the average rental cost for a home was $1.2 million in Victoria.
That is up 9 per cent since December, and it is up 11 per cent from a year ago.
In Sydney, where rents have also increased by 10 per cent, the median rent has risen by 13 per cent over the past year, to $1,534 a month.
However, in Victoria, rents have increased in the past four months by a similar amount, according to data released by the Rental Trends Group.
A rent increase in Melbourne is not likely to slow the rent growth rate in the state, given that the cost of living is lower in Melbourne, according a report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
It said rents in Melbourne rose by 1.7 per cent in the six months to March, the most recent data available, compared to a 2.5 per cent increase in the same period last year.
There were also signs that rents in Sydney were likely to increase further, with a median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Sydney rising 5.5 percent in the year to March to $2,936.
In Perth, the rental rate has also increased, by 3.1 per cent between March and March to a median of $2.2 per week.
Meanwhile, the cost to live in Victoria has risen at the fastest rate of any state, up by 3 per cent during the past 12 months.
And in NSW, rents are up by 7.4 per cent to $3,547, while in Tasmania, rents increased by 4.3 per cent.
Australia has had the highest average rent growth in the developed world in recent years.