Rental stress hits Broken Hill

A single, middle aged worker looking for a furnished flat or a small house has been looking for six weeks and has found nothing, she has also been rejected by one real estate agent for three months with no given reason despite having a good rental record.

Another young family with four children has been looking for a place for five months with no luck.

Families are sharing houses to keep other families off the streets.

This is Broken Hill in 2022.

If you are looking for a rental in Broken Hill good luck.

A quick search on line and three websites have only four to six places for rent in town.

According to the 2021 census Broken Hill has 9,551 plus houses, of these 1,528 were empty, 5,266 were owned or mortgaged and 1,742 were rented.

Broken Hill has 80 Airbnb, 76 are active at the moment and there are more short term rentals listed but not on Airbnb.

Of the 80 Airbnb listed 60 are fully detached houses.


Broken Hills rental vacancy rate is 0.4 per cent, considerably lower than the minimum one per cent considered a concern by experts.

The problem isn’t just here.

Adelaide and Hobart have a rental vacancy rate of 0.3 with increased homelessness.

Short term rentals are a two edged sword according to Forbes, a media company reporting on finance and entrepreneurship.

They stated recently that there are clear economic benefits for local economies that have accommodation such as Airbnb for tourists.

Homeowners and landlords’ benefit, as turning their rooms and properties into short-term lets can offer an alternative and lucrative source of revenue and cities benefit through the tourist trade.


Truth is there was a recognised problem in housing in Australia as far back as 2008.

In 2007–08 over 300 000 lower income home buyers and 445 000 lower income households renting privately were in housing stress according to Dr Matthew Thomas, Social Policy Section and Peter Hicks, Economics Section Australia’s significant housing problem.

He went on to say the problem was only going to get worse and it has, not just in Broken Hill, but across regional Australia.

The premier of New South Wales, Dominic Perrottet, recently announced the introduction of a land tax for first home buyers to try and help with the housing market.

Professor in Political Science Professor Dominic O’Sullivan said replacing stamp duty with the option to pay an annual land tax reduces barriers for people to move to a different town or city to pursue better job opportunities.

There are other changes in the pipeline for home buyers but it is predicted they will take years before they make a positive change to the housing market.

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