Rental vacancy rates in regional NSW continue to remain historically low, according to a Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) report this month, contributing to what is fast becoming a housing crisis.
On the NSW South Coast (which incudes the Southern Highlands), vacancy rates were down to 0.7 per cent in April, compared with 2.7 per cent last June.
The South Eastern region, which incorporates Crookwell, Yass and Braidwood, vacancy rates sit at 1.7 per cent, actually up from a very tight March at 0.6 per cent.
Regional vacancy rates are substantially lower than Sydney's, which averaged 4.3 per cent in April.
Meanwhile, those unable to find rental properties face waiting times for social housing of up to 10 years.
"What these statistics show is that we are in a housing crisis, and traditionally more affordable regional areas like Goulburn are not exempt," said Anglicare regional manager for housing and social services, Toni Reay.
According to the Department of Family and Community Services, expected waiting times for social housing in Goulburn are five to 10 years for a two bedroom house, and two to five years for one, three or four bedroom properties.
In the Wingecarribee, you'll wait five to 10 years for a one or three bedroom property, and two to five for a two bedroom.
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"Anglicare advocates on behalf of scores of families in the Goulburn region every year who need housing assistance," said Ms Reay.
"To remain on priority waiting lists for social housing, families need to demonstrate that they are still actively looking for private rental properties even while they are living in our emergency accommodation, which can be for up to 12 months or more.
"This means that families are viewing in excess of 30 private rental properties a month, and facing ongoing rejection which becomes extremely demoralising.
"More social housing is needed for families living in this region who are struggling."
Corelogic figures released on Tuesday confirm skyrocketing home prices across NSW, sparking calls for a major investment in social and affordable housing to balance the runaway growth.
The data shows Sydney home prices increased 3.0 per cent in May to post extraordinary quarterly growth of 9.3 per cent in Sydney.
In regional NSW, prices were almost as hot, increasing 2.5 per cent for a quarterly rise of 7.8 per cent.
Everybody's Home - a national campaign to end homelessness - said the market's heat would price many out while generating unsustainable debt for many new purchasers.
"The best solution to this runaway housing market is an expansion of social and affordable housing," said campaign spokesperson, Kate Colvin.
"We need to release the housing pressure by giving more options to those who can't participate in the boom.
"Cheap money is like rocket fuel for house prices. Unfortunately this inevitably leads to higher rents, unsustainable debt loads and worsening affordability.
"Social and affordable housing is a big part of the answer. It can moderate the effect of higher house prices and higher rents by giving those on low and modest incomes a realistic alternative."
The surveyed of more than 74,000 rental listings across Australia found:
- 859 were affordable for a person on the minimum wage
- 386 rentals were affordable for a single person on the Age Pension
- 236 rentals were affordable for a person on the Disability Support Pension
- 3 rentals, including share houses, were affordable for a person on JobSeeker
- 0 rentals, including share houses, were affordable for a person on Youth Allowance
"Stable housing is necessary to get a job, look after your health and your family," said Ms Colvin.
"Instead of cheering on the housing boom we should be giving everyone the benefit of housing."