TAMWORTH is one of the most affordable cities to rent in the state, a Compass Housing report reveals.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, renting had become a lot cheaper across most of the Sydney area and significantly more expensive in regional NSW. But Tamworth has bucked the trend.
It's good news for renters and LJ Hooker director Sam Spokes puts it down to a more stable market.
"I think we're pretty lucky that we've had a steady growth in our rental and sale prices over the last 30 years, we haven't had any big spikes or any big drops," he said.
"I think the biggest thing that helps us is that the housing market on the coast has gone up so much that people can't afford to buy a home, so more people are looking to rent which drives up the price.
"I believe that the rental market is quite strong at the moment, it has been quite busy with rental inquiries which has given landlords the option to choose and get the right tenant for their property."
The median house price in Tamworth is around $420,000 to buy, and about $340 per week to rent.
East Tamworth is the most expensive area to rent with the least on the market, while more properties are available cheaper in the Oxley Vale, South and West Tamworth areas.
And, the market has been relatively unaffected by COVID-19, Burke and Smythe business development manager Natalie Graham said.
"There are a lot of tenants out there at the moment looking, the vacancy rate is low so it is quite competitive," she said.
"I think it's hard to narrow down exactly who is renting in Tamworth, we have professional couples who choose to rent for the convenience and flexibility and young families who rent until they are more financially secure to buy.
"It's hard to pinpoint but the rental market hasn't really slowed down with COVID-19."
The Compass Housing report showed that of the 10 least affordable areas to live in NSW, four were outside Sydney.
In regional NSW the least affordable places to rent were Byron Tweed Shire, Grafton, Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Shoalhaven, Port Macquarie, Goulburn, Kiama and Port Stephens.
While the most affordable locations were the Upper Hunter, Broken Hill, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth, Dubbo, Quenbeyan, Albury, Bathurst, Orange and Armidale.