The median weekly rent climbed by 0.4% to $436 in the year to March, reflecting rises in all capital city markets except for Sydney and Darwin, according to CoreLogic’s latest Quarterly Rental Review.

The national increase over the same period was modest as median capital city rents dropped by 0.1% over the year. The downward track was mainly due to a decline in Sydney, the country’s largest and most expensive rental market.

“The annual change in combined capital city rents is the lowest on record based on data which is available back to 2005,” CoreLogic said.

Hobart recorded the largest annual increase among the capital city markets. The area’s weekly median rents jumped by 5.4% to $385.

Canberra followed, with median rents increasing by 3.6% to $550.  Rents in Melbourne and Perth also climbed by 2.1% to $454 and $385, respectively, from a year earlier.

Sydney, on the other hand, kept its title as the most expensive capital city market to rent at $582, but median weekly rents slid by 3.1% over the year.

“It is clear that Sydney accounts for a large share of overall renters, with annual falls in Sydney leading to a fall in the combined capital city index. The past year has seen a change of direction for both the Brisbane and Perth rental markets, following a number of years of declines rents are now climbing again. Elsewhere rental rates are continuing to rise. However, the rate of growth has slowed compared to a year ago,” CoreLogic said.

CoreLogic also reported that the modest increase in weekly rents resulted in the growth of gross rental yields —up 4.1%, from 3.8% at the end of the March quarter in 2018. The drop in median home prices in many parts of the nation, led by Sydney and Melbourne, had an impact on the result.

“Gross rental yields have increased over the past quarter across all capital cities while over the past year they are higher in all cities except Hobart,” CoreLogic said.