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International students could pay more for accommodation upon returning to Australia

Accommodation in Australia
Many factors could affect the cost of accommodation in Australia. Source: Saeed Khan/AFP

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced that fully vaccinated international students would return to Australia without an exemption from December onwards. This news was met with welcome arms by both international students and the education sector. Reports suggest, however, that the cost of accommodation in Australia could skyrocket following the reopening of borders.

As borders reopen, will the cost of accommodation in Australia skyrocket?

Two Indian students who have secured a spot in New South Wales’ pilot plan to return to Australia in December told Indian Link news that cost is becoming a major factor that is affecting them as they prepare for their return. 

Abhishek Rupapara, a postgraduate student of architecture at the University of Sydney, has alleged that accommodation in Australia has increased following Morrison’s announcement of the country’s border reopening.

“We were quite happy when our pilot plan tickets were booked and had looked up accommodation prices immediately. It was around $250 for a room per week. Two days later, after borders reopened, the prices went up to around $450 for the same room,” he elaborated.

The Council of International Students Australia (CISA) said they are aware of the issue. National president Oscar Zi Shao Ong told Indian Link that international students are facing expensive accommodations on their return to Sydney. 

Ong added that the education sector was blindsided by the government’s sudden announcement. “We understand that circumstances change but this is far too expensive,” he was quoted saying.

Accommodation in Australia

Reports suggests accommodation in Australia could increased following Morrison’s announcement of the country’s border reopening. Source: Ludovic Marin/AFP

Rental prices will be ‘a really big issue’

Separately, the Australian Financial Review recently reported that rental prices of accommodation in Australia are expected to increase as domestic and international borders reopen.

This is due to factors including interstate migration in Australia; the return of immigrants and international students will also put pressure on all of Australia’s cities.

“We’ve had a lot [of focus] on house price affordability, but rental affordability is going to become a really big issue,” JLL’s senior director of Australia research, Leigh Warner, told The Australian Financial Review.

“People are going to be in housing distress. There’s no question about it over the next few years.”

He added: “Obviously some people will be cheering rental growth, but I feel like we’re heading into a period over the next couple of years where rental affordability is going to become a real issue nationally. Rents are going up enormously and there are social consequences of that.”