Most in-demand rental suburbs in Australia

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The start of the year is usually a busier couple of months for the rental market, with students heading back to universities after the summer break and young tenants looking for new leases.

Recent data revealed the most in-demand suburbs for renters within 20km of each capital city around Australia.

With their proximity to prestigious universities and urban lifestyles, it’s no surprise that neighbourhoods such as Fitzroy, Carlton and Sandy Bay are popular pockets to rent (and invest) in, but our data has shown that in the last six months, there has been an overall increase in the amount of people renting across the country.

We measure the most in demand rental suburbs on our site by looking at the biggest gap between the number of people looking to rent and the number of rental listings available.

The most in demand rental suburbs in Australia 

  1. Gelnorchy (Tas)
  2. Moonah (Tas)
  3. South Hobart (Tas)
  4. West Hobart (Tas)
  5. Kingston (Tas)
  6. Fitzroy (Vic)
  7. Carlton (Vic)
  8. St Kilda (Vic)
  9. New Town (Tas)
  10. Sandy Bay (Tas)

The most in demand rental suburb in each state

  • NSW : North Narabeen 
  • Qld : Fortitude Valley
  • SA : Unley (top suburb for both renters and buyers)
  • Vic : Fitzroy
  • Tas : Glenorchy (top suburb for Australia too)
  • ACT : Ngunnawal
  • WA : Shenton Park (top suburb for both renters and buyers)
  • NT : Moil

Typically, the suburbs that are most in demand have the same characteristics, although there are some differences depending on region.

Generally, renters are more likely to be younger than owner occupiers.

This is partly because renting is something people usually do when they leave home for the first time, but also because housing has become increasingly unaffordable in our capital cities over the past five years.

Another reason people rent is because they are moving to a city for the first time, which explains why some cities see particular locations rising in popularity from renters.

So just what is it that makes these suburbs so enticing?

Being close to good cafes, restaurants and retailing

It’s all about location. The majority of the most popular suburbs on for renters boast a plethora of very good shops, cafes and restaurants. For example, in Brisbane, Fortitude Valley is the most popular suburb for renters, while in Adelaide it is Unley – both of these areas have excellent retail strips that offer plenty of food, shopping and nightlife options.

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Having a beach nearby

Being positioned near a beach makes many suburbs popular with renters. In Melbourne, St Kilda came in at number three and in Sydney, North Narrabeen was the most popular. Both of these suburbs are well and truly on the water and offer a great outdoor lifestyle to residents.


Affordability appears to drive popularity in some locations for renters and explains why certain suburbs do not appear on the list despite having great shopping strips or a beachy vibe. The eastern suburbs of Sydney offer both of these factors but they are also expensive, which clearly impacts demand among renters.

A low number of properties

The list of most popular suburbs for renters of apartments is often quite different than that of houses. Australia has had record levels of apartment development over the past five years and this has satisfied demand in many inner suburbs of our capital cities. For example, Carlton is very popular with renters of houses, but because there has been so much apartment development in the suburb, it doesn’t trouble the top 10 most in demand suburbs for apartments.

Regional differences

While top rental suburbs tend to have similar characteristics, in some cities there are distinct differences. In Canberra, suburbs that cater to families feature more prominently. As the country’s capital and a public sector hub, this is a city that has very high rental demand not just from young people but also from families moving there for employment. In Tasmania, Hobart’s mix of suburbs included very cheap suburbs to very expensive ones, suggesting a general shortage of rental housing across the city.

Some final tips

If you’re an investor, picking locations that appeal to renters will make it easier to find a tenant, but if you’re a renter looking for a place, moving to a suburb adjacent to the most popular could make it easier to get into a new home and save you thousands of dollars a year.