Illawarra rents stable, Sydney's skyrocket

While Sydney rental prices have recently skyrocketed, the Illawarra rental market has remained stable, new figures show.

The median asking rent for houses in the Shellharbour area was $400 per week in the three months to June 2014, the same price as the previous quarter, Australian Property Monitors' (APM) Rental Price Series Quarterly Report revealed.

In the Wollongong local government area, the median weekly asking rent for houses was $420, down 2.3 per cent from the last quarter.

Weekly median rental prices for Wollongong units, flats and townhouses stood at $330 in June, unchanged from the previous quarter, according to the APM report.

In Shellharbour, the asking rent for units fell by 10.3 per cent to $305 over the June quarter.

The same report has shown that Sydney rents have surged to an all-time high.

APM senior economist Dr Andrew Wilson said the flat growth in rental asking prices was good news for Illawarra tenants and investors.

"There's no doubt that it's been a more positive environment for the housing market in Wollongong, which is fairly typical of the regional markets adjacent to Sydney," he said.

"The issue with rents is that there is no imbalance there occurring through an under-supply or a surplus of property.

"It is balancing out with what's happening in the home purchase market and I think this is good news for tenants because we are not seeing any significant changes, it's a reasonably flat outcome.

"It's also good news for investors because they are getting quite solid yields for those properties, and with capital growth occurring as well, it's a very positive environment for investors."

While the Illawarra rental market did not surge in the last quarter, data from IRIS shows there have been increases since March 2013.

Median weekly rental prices for houses in the Illawarra climbed 5 per cent (to $420) in the 12 months to March 2014, according to IRIS's Real Estate Report.

The median asking rent for Illawarra apartments increased by 6.3 per cent (to $340) over the same period. IRIS research analyst Alex Stewart said the strengthening of Illawarra's rental market was triggered by increases in selected areas.