Why are rental properties in such short supply?

If finding a rental property is proving tricky at the moment, there’s good reason. 

Across Australia, the vacancy rate is at a record low, and rental properties are in short supply. But why exactly is this occurring?

A bit about the vacancy rate

The vacancy rate is the metric that determines how many rental properties are currently sitting empty and are available in any given region.

In a stable market where supply and demand is pretty steady, the vacancy rate sits at about 3 per cent.

At present, it’s at a record low of 0.9 per cent nationally, meaning most rental properties are currently occupied.

That means there are fewer properties available for those seeking to call a rental property home, and there are a number of reasons this is occurring.

There’s fewer investors

While the events of the past few years spurred on Australia’s love of property, investors weren’t necessarily the most active segment in the market.

This was partly due to rental moratoriums and also the fact many buyers were looking for a home they could occupy.

Right now, investors are beginning to re-enter the market, but there remains limited stock for sale.

Investment properties were sold

The rising property prices of recent years also saw a lot of investors decide it was an opportune time to sell.

And in many cases those properties were purchased by owner-occupiers, which constricted the rental market further.

There’s little new supply

Compounding the problem is the fact there’s very little new housing coming online. Supply issues and rising inflation have resulted in building delays and construction backlogs.

The short-term letting factor

Although this doesn’t apply everywhere, short-term letting also has an impact on the availability of permanent rentals.

In tourism destinations, for example, renters may find there are fewer options available because properties are in the short-term pool rather than the long-term one.

There’s high demand

On the other side of the coin, there’s high demand for rental properties, and there’s a chance this could increase further.

First-time buyers who are currently stepping away from the market often seek a rental in the interim, while those who sold their property during the recent period of price growth might also be seeking a rental before they make their next purchase.

If you’re looking to rent

If you’re looking to rent but are finding it a challenge to source and secure the right property, there are some tips that can assist…

Be rental ready

In a competitive rental market, it pays to be rental ready. This means you should complete any rental application in full and have all the necessary documentation and references at hand.

Speak to a local property manager

If you’re looking for a rental in a specific area, speak with a property manager who specialises in that region. Indicate your interest, and explain what you’re looking for.

Chances are they can put you in their database of qualified renters.

Be a little flexible in your requirements

In a market that’s tight, it pays to be flexible about your requirements

That might mean looking at suburbs that are a little further afield or forgoing some of those extra property features on your list.

We’re here to help

We appreciate the rental market can be tough for renters to navigate right now, and we’re doing everything we can to assist renters find a property where possible.

We genuinely pride ourselves on establishing great relationships with both rental occupiers and owners, and you can view the properties we currently have available here.