Wyndham’s rental market has exploded in the past decade, with nearly a third of residents living in rental properties.
Newly released Census data reveals a 164 per cent increase in the number of Wyndham households renting in the past 10 years.
The proportion of renters across the city is 28.6 per cent, up from 18.9 per cent a decade ago. No other part of Melbourne has experienced such a large increase.
Greg Hocking Lawson Partners director David Lawson said the agency was seeing many investors looking to buy in Wyndham. In recent months, it had sold “a good two dozen properties to people in Sydney”.
“They’re just realising the rental returns and proximity to the city are great value for money, so rather than invest in Sydney, they are investing down here,” Mr Lawson said.
The figures follow the release of data from the Council to Homeless Persons that found only 31.8 per cent of Wyndham rental properties were considered affordable to people on a Centrelink income – down from 75 per cent in March, 2007.
A property is deemed affordable when rent consumes 30 per cent or less of a household’s income.
More than 60 council, community legal services and not-for-profit groups have backed a “Make Renting Fair” campaign that is calling on the state government to overhaul rental laws to protect tenants and their families.
The state government is reviewing the Residential Tenancies Act, with possible changes to include restricting rent rises to once a year and the banning of no-pet clauses in leases.
Tenants Union of Victoria chief executive Mark O’Brien said Victoria’s rental laws hadn’t been updated properly in 20 years.
“We are seeing a major change in the way people live in Melbourne, moving from a community of home owners to one where between one-in-three to one-in-two people rent their homes,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Undermining safety and stability for renters at a time when more of us are becoming renters doesn’t make sense and it isn’t fair.”