POCKETS of regional Queensland and New South Wales are paying higher average rents than their metropolitan counterparts, with Byron Bay more expensive than Sydney and Queensland's Sunshine Coast more expensive than Melbourne.

Byron remains among the most expensive towns in Australia to rent, with tenants paying $40 more per week when compared to the notoriously pricey rents of Sydney.

Coastal centres in Queensland and New South Wales dominate the top five most expensive regions to rent, with APN crunching the numbers for 16 major regional areas spanning each state.

Sydney's weekly rent is $510 per week, Melbourne's is $380 and Brisbane's is 400 per week.

Recognise this one?
Nice view. Sydney average rental prices now lower than Byron Bay

The latest quarterly data from Australian Property Monitors shows Byron Bay demanding the highest median rent with $550 a week, $100 a week more than its nearest rival - Queensland's Sunshine Coast - where renters pay $450 a week for a house.

On the border, Tweed tenants are paying an average of $420 a week.

The coal mining wonderland of Mackay in Central Queensland charges $380 a week down $75 at the same time last year as the world price for its black gold remains historically low.

That fall has nothing on Gladstone, which despite not being in the top or bottom five, had rents crumble from $530 a week to $375 a week in just 12 months.

Coffs Harbour in New South Wales rounds out the top five most expensive median rents in the survey, with $380, about $20 more per week than this time last year.


If you're sick of paying big numbers, the number boffins have also found some of our cheapest places to sign a lease.

Queensland's Bundaberg is the cheapest of those surveyed at $245 per week, followed by Warwick at $255 a week.

Gympie comes in at number three with the average house renting for $270, then Clarence Valley on the New South Wales north coast at $290.

At number five is Ipswich, south-west of Brisbane where the median rent sits at $320.

Julie Baker - sunrise over Maroochy River.
Not a bad place to live, but Sunshine Coast's average rental house is more expensive than Melbourne's.

Australian Property Monitors senior economist Dr Andrew Wilson said those who are nervous about the increases in house rents should take heart - unit rents are going up faster.

"Nationally, rental growth for units is outperforming houses in most capital cities, reflecting affordability barriers and the popularity of apartment living," he said.

"The median asking rent for units rose by +1.1% over the June quarter and +3.0% over the last 12 months. Meanwhile, the median asking rent for houses decreased by -0.3% during the June quarter, contributing to annual growth rate of +1.5%."


Town State Average weekly rent, house Last year's average Change from 2013
Bundaberg              QLD             $300 $300 0.0%
Byron NSW $550 $530 3.8%
Coffs Harbour  NSW $380 $360 5.6%
Fraser Coast QLD $320 $300 6.7%
Gladstone QLD $375 $530 -29.2%
Gympie QLD $270 $265 1.9%
Ipswich QLD $320 $320 0.0%
Isaac QLD $300 $450 -33.3%
Lismore NSW $320 $320 0.0%
Mackay QLD $380 $455 -16.5%
Rockhampton QLD $340 $375 -9.3%
Sunshine Coast QLD $450 $425 5.9%
Toowoomba QLD $330 $315 4.8%
Tweed NSW $420 $390 7.7%
Clarence Valley NSW $290 $290 0.0%
Southern Downs QLD $255 $250 2.0%