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Should I move house in 2023 & the rising costs of renting & building

Guides  |  Advice

Renting a home or building a new one is a significant decision and in 2023, with costs in flux and availability limited, can leave you asking, “Should I move house or not?” In 2023, Australia is experiencing a surge in rental costs as well as disruptions in the building industry. As rents continue to rise and building companies face financial challenges, many individuals and families may be contemplating whether it is the right time to move house.

Let’s explore the current situation with insights into what’s happening now to help you make an informed decision on whether or not it’s the right time to move or not.

The rising costs of renting: 

Recent data reveals a concerning, and some might say stressful, trend of soaring rental costs across Australia. According to PropTrack and the Guardian, the most stretched markets have witnessed rent increases of a third or more in the past year. 

In regional areas like Katanning, Western Australia, weekly house rents have surged by an astonishing 47% to a median price of $375. Even Melbourne's CBD has seen a significant rise, with a 42% increase in unit rents over the past year to a median price of $540. These staggering rent increases have outpaced historical trends, primarily driven by rising demand, the return of overseas students, and a resumption of migration.

Source: The Guardian - Australia’s renters face ‘staggering’ increases

The impact on renters 

The recent escalating rental costs create significant challenges for renters. With the national vacancy rate below 2%, finding affordable housing has become increasingly difficult. This in itself will have you questioning if you should move or not. And as demand continues to outstrip the supply of rental properties, prospective tenants face fierce competition and limited options. It’s one of the reasons people need our services as interstate removalists

Average rental increases of over 10% in 2022 have placed additional financial burdens on renters, despite the drop in property prices. You may be considering a move because your rent has increased but will you find something better elsewhere? And while the 2023 Federal Budget introduced measures such as increasing the rent assistance cap for low-income earners and tax incentives for build-to-rent projects, immediate relief for middle-income renters remains limited.

What about building a new house?

Family deciding to build a house in 2023

The building industry in Australia has been dealing with its own set of challenges. A number of big and small building companies have collapsed, leaving people out of pocket and adding to this housing crisis. The cost of building has also been a concern for the last few years as material prices have been increasing along with supply issues. 

However, there are signs of hope as supply chain disruptions are easing, resulting in reduced material costs such as steel and shipping. The big issue now lies in the shortage of skilled labour in the construction industry. This shortage can impact costs as people pay more for experienced employees - or any employees - and also increases the potential for delaying the end date for a house build. So if you build a house, it still may take a long time to complete it!

So should you move house in 2023? Key things to consider:

With the costs of renting and building still rising, it’s worth sitting down and really considering if moving house now is the right decision for you. Here are some of the important things to evaluate:

  1. Finances: what’s your budget like for housing costs? Can you handle the rental increase involved in renting a new place (or staying where you are)? Or would it be better to build (or buy) a new home and go that route? What are your long-term financial goals and how do they sit with both your plans for the future and the reality of renting now?
  2. Your job stability and future career growth: it’s worth thinking about how stable your current job is. Are you staying in a position that feels unstable or might you move to a job that offers more stability? In that case, moving may be helpful and worthwhile. As costs and rents have been increasing, would it be better to live in a place that allows more potential career growth and so an increased salary? If your work allows for remote options, it may be worth exploring areas with more affordable housing options.
  3. Lifestyle and location: how close do you need to be to work, schools or public transportation? What about nature, walking paths or the beach? Will moving to a different area enhance your quality of life? Would it be worth paying more for? Or are you considering paying more for a location that lacks some of the important things you’d like in your life? 
  4. Keep up to date with market conditions: while you’re considering moving, renting and building, it’s important to stay informed about what’s happening. Are rents decreasing in specific locations? Is the building industry recovering? Are costs going down? Watching prices and paying attention to the news will help. 

So should you move in 2023? If you can and want to, there are definitely reasons that would make it worthwhile. Firstly, start with a plan, understanding what might be hard, and what you can get around. The trickiest thing may be moving out of one place straight into another. We can help with storage options for in-between places if that’s needed. So you may need to be clever and have a backup plan, but as interstate removalists, we help people move every day so it’s possible for you as well.

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