Illawarra tenants facing a potential rent increase in 2020 may have a case to request otherwise, an analyst suggests.
"Given that rents are steady or falling, if you are negotiating, you can definitely push for no increase, or maybe even a cut to your rent," Domain economist Trent Wiltshire said.
The Domain Group has released the Domain Rental Report for the December 2019 quarter.
The report reveals the median rental price for houses and units throughout Australia, and how it has changed over time.
The median weekly asking rent for a house in Wollongong as of December 2019 was $490, compared to $500 in December 2018.
Wollongong units had an average rent of $360 at December 2019; this figure was $380 a year prior.
"In terms of regional areas, Wollongong's actually pretty soft," Mr Wiltshire said of the rental market.
"A lot of large regional towns have seen pretty solid growth over the past couple of years."
Mr Wiltshire said this slight decline was likely attributable to factors such as the large amount of construction taking place in the area.
"There was a lot of construction slated for Wollongong in 2019 and 2020," he said. "I think that's worked to push rent down in Sydney, and it looks like it's happening in Wollongong too.
"Building lots of new housing is good for tenants - it helps keep rents affordable.
"It's still affecting Shellharbour and Kiama, but not to the same extent."
Shellharbour houses had a median weekly rent of $495 as of December 2019, compared to $485 a year earlier.
Shellharbour units had an average rent of $390 as of December 2019; this figure was $410 at December 2018.
Meanwhile, in Kiama, houses had a median weekly rent of $550, compared to $540 a year earlier.
Kiama units' weekly average rent at December last year was $490; the same amount as 12 months prior.
According to the report, house rents in Newcastle rose by two per cent over the past year, but fell by two per cent in the Central Coast.