Postcodes in the Highlands range from "unaffordable" to "severely unaffordable", new data has found.
Figures were revealed for postcodes across the country in the latest Rental Affordability Index, where scores are given to postcodes based on their affordability and household incomes, which vary by city and area.
The index has been released annually since 2015 by the National Shelter, the Brotherhood of St. Laurence, and SGS Economics and Planning.
The 2576 postcode, which covers Bowral, Burradoo, East Bowral, East Kangaloon, Kangaloon and Glenquarry, is "severely unaffordable", with the lowest score across all of the Highlands postcodes.
Postcodes 2575, 2571, 2577, 2578 and 2579 are all in the "unaffordable" range.
The report also showed how affordable rentals are for single and dual income earners with children, hospitality workers, minimum wage couples, pensioners, people on benefits and those in student sharehouses.
For the second quarter of 2023, 2576 is "extremely unaffordable" for single pensioners and individuals on benefits, and 2577 also had this score in the latter category.
The only postcodes that are classified as "very affordable" are 2571, 2577, 2579 and 2575 for those with two incomes and children.
The report said rentals in regional NSW were on the border between moderately unaffordable and unaffordable, and the average household would face spending 29 per cent of its income on rent.
"If this trend continues, the region will soon fall into the unaffordable category," it said.
In the index, costs that exceed 30 per cent of a low-income household's income are considered to experience housing stress.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics' 2021 census data show that almost 42 per cent of households in the Highlands spend more than 30 per cent of income on rent.
Bushfires and flooding have impacted rental stock and new developments in regional areas, which increased rents, which have also been exacerbated by the pandemic, the report also said.
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