The Sydney rental market has recorded its highest vacancy rate in more than a decade, with almost 20,000 properties estimated to be vacant.
If your property comes up for rent, we will make a number of recommendations as to what you should be doing. I’ve included a link here to one of properties that has benefited from the sales style photography and floorplans we recommend. This property leased after its first open home, which in Macquarie Park right now isn’t easy: https://www.realestate.com.au/property/unit-10-11-lachlan-ave-macquarie-park-nsw-2113
I’ve been managing property for a lot longer than the last decade and I’ve seen the Sydney rental market far worse than this. Most property managers out there haven’t been in the business long enough to know what to focus on and neither have their bosses for that matter. Our property managers right now are enjoying (tongue in cheek) Kristine and I reviewing every one of their properties that is up for lease every week until its rented. Our Property managers are good at what they do but don’t be surprised if you get a call from me or Kris talking through the market response and what we are doing about it. That said, getting the property leased is less important to us than getting a good tenant.
Actually I’ll say that differently, it’s less important to us than keeping a problem tenant out. You see, Kristine and I have seen high vacancy rates (and even higher) before and we have seen agents, owners and property managers put people in who were always going to be a problem. And the cost to those owners was not just a few thousand in lost rent but a lot of damage, costs in getting the tenant out and heart ache. Right now it is quite common for my property managers to ring an applicant to tell them we wont be accepting their application and to be told ‘that’s OK, I’ve just been approved on a property with such and such agent’.
There are some interesting changes going on that we haven’t seen before which show how people are changing the way they live. We have had families with kids who have been renting houses, give notice to vacate because they have decided to move into some of the new, large units. Where before back yards were nearly mandatory for a lot of families, now they want a large balcony, park land nearby, fast internet connection and the modern convenience of high-rise living. In Sydney the statistics now show that the average weekly rent for a unit and a house is the same! That is something I definitely haven’t seen before.
Tenants are reading the newspapers & media as well and realise this is a tenants market. Some have approached us asking for rent reductions and we have had a number of owners grant them. A pool of good solid tenants are also buying their first homes – a lot of people who were priced out of the market during the boom are now buying. While it’s lovely to hear some of best tenants call and say their vacating because they’ve bought, it is all adding to the pool of vacant property.