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30 June 2022

UTS Renter Rich-List: The most and least expensive suburbs around campus

By Joseph Hathaway-Wilson
UTS Renter Rich-List: The most and least expensive suburbs around campus

As Winter takes hold and the nation retreats to the warmth of the living room, Australia’s closet statisticians come crawling out under the cover of darkness, and journalists across the country scurry to make meaningful infographics from a litany of percentages.

That’s right folks, Census results are here.

This week, everyone and their dog learnt of the decreasing prevalence of religion in Australia - a shockingly foreseeable statistic that, no doubt, struck fear into the hearts of private educators all over the country. 

For the sake of our good readers, however, Vertigo has traded talk of God for talk of the rental market. Want to move closer to the university but fretting over the size of your wallet? Well, fret no more. Below, you will find a table of the 32 Sydney postcodes located wholly or partly within a stone’s-throw of Building 1 - assuming you can throw a stone five kilometres. Using data from the 2021 Australian Census, Vertigo has arranged these postcodes by the median weekly rent (MWR) paid in each.

We’ve also listed a property available for that exact amount of rent (or as close as we could find to it) currently advertised on Domain. No, this article will not stand up to rigorous peer review. We are not qualified advisors, we’re just trying to give you an idea of where you might want to live when you move out and the type of residence you might be living in. Don’t @ me.

So, what is there to take away from the renter rich-list of UTS’s surrounding suburbs? Let’s take a moment to break down some of the key points.

The Eastern suburbs is… well, still the Eastern suburbs

In another revelation that should come as a shock to absolutely no one, all of the top five spots on our list went to postcodes in Sydney’s far East. Now, I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but if your residential dream is to own a perky seaside flat overlooking the harbour, university is NOT THE TIME TO MAKE THAT DREAM COME TRUE. While the two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment on offer in Double Bay (2028) offers salty sea breezes and a quick drive to the beach, it is also $240 p/w more expensive than the two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment on offer in Petersham (2049). Of the 32 postcodes listed, these five are also some of the furthest away from Ultimo campus, and a pain to have to get to on public transport (that being said, if you can afford to pull half of $720 out your arse on a weekly basis, it’s unlikely that public transport is something you still have to deal with - your move, Moneybags).

Home is where the [rent gets substantially cheaper]

For those looking to reduce their daily commuter minutes, few options offer as much bang for buck as Ultimo’s near neighbours, Redfern and Glebe. In a happy turn of events, these suburbs are proving to be somewhat of an anomaly among the hub of postcodes that form the inner-city. The two-bedroom, one-bathroom flat listed in Redfern (2016) is on offer for 20% less than the one-bedroom, one-bathroom flat listed in the CBD (2000). Prospective renters may also want to take a minute perusing the options in Potts Point (2011), which came in at 28th on our list despite being located amid some of the city’s most expensive postcodes and harbouring the Yuppie-ridden peninsula that is Woolloomooloo Wharf. 

Newtown is old news. We’re Albo stans now

With all the hype around Marrickville (2204) allegedly taking over as the city’s new ‘it’ suburb, it is easy to dismiss the motherland of Anthony Albanese as overrated and gentrified. However, as far as rental prices go, the MWR in Marrickville is currently $60 cheaper than that of the nearby hipster/student/vomit-flavoured-beer hotspot, Newtown. The story is similar for Stanmore (2048) and Petersham (2049), who, alongside Marrickville, make up three of the four postcodes within five kilometres of Building 1 with the lowest MWR. With buses and train lines a-plenty, the south side of the inner-west isn’t exactly renter heaven, but it sure has a lot on its competition.

Sydney Uni: Driving up admission ranks and rental prices at the same time!

Speaking of suburbs around Newtown: STAY OUT OF CAMPERDOWN. While the cosy postcode called home by many University of Sydney students (2050) offers a humble tranquillity away from the inebriated roar of King St, there is more to this suburb than initially meets the eye. Firstly, Camperdown residents are within walking distance of not one but TWO Camperdown Parks. Furthermore, it is head and shoulders above neighbouring suburbs in terms of rent - we couldn’t even find a rental property available on Domain for $570 p/w (the MWR); the studio property listed above is actually going for $595 p/w, almost 25% more expensive than the studio apartment listed in Marrickville. 

Disclaimer: Despite our rugged attempts at banter, UTS Vertigo holds no ill-feelings towards the University of Sydney. Shout-out to the University of Sydney SRC and student publication Honi Soit, you guys are the bomb.

All hail the City of Randwick, our new rental kingdom

Geographically, the Randwick LGA is far from the most convenient place for a UTS student to start renting. However, with the postcode of Kingsford (2032) claiming the bottom rung on our list (MWR of $450 p/w), this is undoubtedly the spot in which your thin pockets want you to start renting. The postcode of Kensington (2033) also slid into the bottom six, flaunting a 2-bedroom, 1-garage unit for the same price as a 1-bedroom, no-garage unit in Ultimo (2007). While it’s a trek and a half from the nearest sign of night-life, rental properties in the City of Randwick may be a case of get-it-while-it-lasts for young renters in Sydney.

No, it’s not just you, those prices are all very high

It is worth mentioning before we sign off that, while our list provides a spectrum of prices within the five kilometre radius of Ultimo campus, the lowest listed MWR is still a good $75 above the nation-wide MWR of $375. Unfortunately, you happen to have found yourself in the Sydney rental market at quite possibly the worst time in history to be in the Sydney rental market. Our condolences. But hey, now that you’re here, at least you’re not alone. 

Here’s hoping this closet statistician and his stupid table made you feel a little more informed (and a perhaps a little less lonely) in your search for a new home.


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