Rental affordability in Orange is at its worst level in six years.
The latest Rental Affordability Index reveals Orange has dropped from being ‘acceptable’ for the past four years to now rated as ‘moderately unaffordable.’
The situation is similar in Dubbo and Bathurst although rents there are rated slightly more affordable than in Orange.
Market analysts SGS Economics and Planning has examined the official bond records for all rentals in Australia to determine the latest of its regular reports.
Consultant Kishan Ratnam said the company rated rental affordability on a scale with a score of 100 meaning people are spending about 30 per cent of their income on their rent.
Orange is now rated at 114, down from 125 for the same quarter in 2017 and 2016 and a high of 127 in 2015.
It was last rated 114 in 2012.
Both Bathurst and Dubbo are rated at 117.
The figures are based on an average household income of $65,000 a year for rent across all forms of dwellings.
Mr Ratnam said ratings below 100 indicated rental stress.
“[Orange’s score] is much better than most of Sydney however compared to the rest of NSW it’s one of the less affordable places,” he said.
“The Central West is performing worst than most of the rest of NSW.”
The report found single pensioners over 65, who had annual incomes of $27,329, were among the hardest hit by the price of rents.
Across regional NSW average rents account for 38 per cent of their income.
The situation is even worse in metropolitan areas where up to 60 per cent of people’s income is required to pay the rent.
“Across all regional areas, rents for the single pensioner are ‘unaffordable’,” the report found.
“Rental affordability for single pensioners is alarmingly poor. Across the nation, the single pensioner household is facing ‘severely unaffordable’ and ‘extremely unaffordable’ rents.”
“Housing pressures on this household type are likely to be compounded by a range of other pressures, including healthcare costs associated with ageing.”
Also hard hit were young single people on benefits.
The report said with an average income of just $17,836 they had to pay up to 58 per cent of their money on rent in regional NSW.
“The single person on benefits faces the greatest financial challenge of all household types examined by this study when looking to rent in metropolitan and regional areas,” it found.
“The regional areas offer scarce alternatives for the single person on benefits. Rents for this household are generally ‘severely unaffordable’ in regional areas.”
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