More than 40 per cent of neighbourhoods across Greater Sydney now have a majority of renters, making tenants a growing electoral force in NSW.
That’s the conclusion of a report by lobby group the Committee for Sydney which maps how renting is on the rise in the city.
The neighbourhood with the highest share of renters in Sydney was Parramatta-Rosehill (70 per cent) followed by Warwick Farm (67 per cent).
But a swag of inner-city neighbourhoods were also among the ten suburbs with the biggest proportion of renters. They include Redfern-Chippendale (65 per cent), Potts Point-Woolloomooloo (65 per cent) and Pyrmont-Ultimo (64 per cent).
Eamon Waterford, Director of Policy, Committee for Sydney, said political parties cannot ignore the needs of Sydney’s growing band of renters.
“Whilst housing affordability is already a major political issue in NSW in relation to buying property, ‘Generation Rent’ are becoming a major electoral force,” he said.
“Renters are increasingly likely to look for assistance from government – especially to provide greater certainty and protection. The current state election in Victoria has seen enhanced rights for renters, such as more secure tenancies and ability to keep pets, debated widely.”
The report showed Sydney’s most economically dynamic regions – those suburbs with the highest proportion of high-value knowledge jobs and high job density – coincide with high rates of renting.
The committee’s report says wealthier professionals are increasingly opting to rent in places with good access to jobs, transport and services rather than buying homes in locations with fewer amenities or close proximity to jobs.
“The rise of the wealthy renter mirrors a similar trend in the US, where within cities of more than a million residents a growing number of renting households are earning more than 120 per cent of median income,” it says.
At the same time, a growing share are renting out of necessity rather than choice.
“There are a growing proportion of rental properties in Sydney’s fringe suburbs which act to service lower income renters,” said the committee’s report which was produced in collaboration with OneMap, a mapping company.
“These groups have been pushed away from inner city areas as wealthier tenants enter the rental market and use their purchasing power to absorb the better-placed rental stock.”
Older, more established parts of Sydney have the highest outright ownership, especially the northern suburbs and parts of the south.
Large areas of Sydney’s outer west and southwest had a majority of mortgaged homes suggesting those regions are most at risk of financial hardship should interest rates start to rise.
The report’s mapping analysis showed 42 per cent of neighbourhoods across Greater Sydney have a majority of renters.
The Sydney neighbourhoods with the lowest share of renters were Woronora Heights (5 per cent) and Illawong-Alfords Point (7 per cent) in the city’s south and Glenhaven (6 per cent) in the northwest.
The 2016 census revealed the share of renters in Sydney is now higher than those who own their home outright.
Matt is a senior writer for The Sydney Morning Herald.