A new report reveals the parts of the Illawarra where residential rental prices have increased, and where they've become more affordable.
This week, the Domain Group released their Rental Report for the June quarter.
Findings included that at the end of June, Wollongong houses had a median weekly rental price of $520; up three per cent from 12 months earlier.
Wollongong units had a median price of $420; on par with June 2018 levels.
Domain economist Trent Wiltshire said rental prices in the Illawarra overall had remained flat over the past year, which was positive news for tenants of houses.
"But rents are up by 19 per cent over five years in the Wollongong region - that's pretty strong growth," he told the Mercury.
"That's a lot faster than the Sydney region - Sydney is up by four per cent over the past five years, and Newcastle is up by 13 per cent.
"So there has been strong rental demand in the Wollongong area over the past few years.
"(For example) unit rents in the Wollongong area are up by 15 per cent over the past five years."
Mr Wiltshire said compared to Sydney, Illawarra rents had "held up a little more recently", but they had grown by more than Sydney had during the past five years.
Mr Wiltshire said Sydney has started to cope with its growing population by building plenty of new housing, which has helped push down rents.
"That's maybe starting to happen in Wollongong as well... (But) you've got population pressures there, with people coming from Sydney looking for housing, and that's contributed to rents rising."
According to the report, Kiama houses had a median weekly rental price of $540; this was up 3.8 per cent from June 2018.
Kiama units' median price was $480; an increase of 6.7 per cent from a year prior.
Meanwhile, rental prices were down in Port Kembla.
Houses had an average weekly rental price of $430; a decrease of 4.4 per cent compared to June 2018.
Port Kembla units had a median weekly rent of $300; down by 3.2 per cent.
In Shellharbour, houses had an average rent of $490, which was a one per cent increase.
Shellharbour units had an average rental of $420 per week; on par with the figure at June 2018.
Mr Wiltshire said a greater proportion of households are renting as opposed to buying, due to issues such as affordability and life choices such as people choosing to study for longer.
"The big hurdle at the moment to buying a house is saving for that deposit," he said.
"The actual paying off the mortgage isn't too bad with interest rates so low, but saving for a deposit as a first home buyer is a significant challenge."