Rents are still climbing across most pockets of Australia and nudging more tenants towards an affordability tipping point.
Two separate datasets on the rental market showed rents lifting across most capital cities and combined regions.
Property data firm CoreLogic recorded a 2.5 per cent lift in national rents over the June quarter to be 9.7 per cent higher than 12 months ago.
Domain chief of research and economics Nicola Powell said the "rental pressure cooker" had not gone away, with strong population growth colliding with a slowdown in home building.
Dr Powell said more renters were finding themselves stuck in the rental market longer as buying a home remains out of reach.
"With a number of factors at play, there needs to be a seismic shift in supply to address the challenges being faced," she said.
Everybody's Home spokesperson Maiy Azize said renters were struggling and more and more were at risk of reaching an "affordability cliff".
"Cutting back on meals, medicines and heating are becoming terrifying realities for many tenants as they try to keep up with eye-watering rents," Ms Azize said.
She said the housing crisis was also stopping people starting families and making other major life changes.
But the ultra-competitive rental market is showing early signs of losing steam, with vacancy rates ticking up from record lows.
Dr Powell said several factors could be driving up vacancy rates, including more flat-sharing and larger households, as well as more tenants opting for more affordable locations or property types.
But with rents still stubbornly high, housing affordability groups remain worried about the wellbeing of renters.
Ms Azize said limiting unfair rent hikes and building more affordable and social housing was the only way to end the crisis.
Her comments echoed the Greens' demands in exchange for their support on the federal government's housing fund policy.
The $10 billion fund is expected to support the construction of 30,000 new social and affordable housing properties in its first five years.
The minor party has been blocking the policy in the Senate in the hope of drawing out more ambition from the government, namely limits on rent increases and more funding for public housing.
Housing Minister Julie Collins said holding up the fund was delaying money for more social and affordable housing.
"The Labor government's Housing Australia Future Fund would make a real difference, but it's being blocked in the Senate by an unholy alliance between the Liberals and the Greens," Ms Collins said on Thursday.
She said there was more to the government's housing agenda than the fund, including a new $2b social housing accelerator to deliver new social homes and bolstered Commonwealth rent assistance.
Australian Associated Press