According to realestates.com.au’s latest Consumer Intentions Study, 47% of respondents find it extremely frustrating having to compete with other renters for a property, the September survey of 1107 Australians showed.
The findings don’t surprise Andrew Rechtman, Executive General Manager of Residential at REA Group.
“The demographic trend is that more and more people are coming into the rental market as they are being priced out of the market for buying properties. So there is more competition coming into the market for existing rental properties that are out there.”
“At the same time, there’s also more tools and more ways to find out information about rental properties so that probably also drives an increase in the level of competition,” he says.
Fewer rental properties in inner-city areas
With more Australians renting longer and many long-term rental properties now appearing on short-term rental platforms, finding the right rental property isn’t easy.
“It is getting harder in certain suburbs to find rental properties. So in some areas where’s there’s a high penetration of Airbnb there might be a reduced number of long-term rentals on the market. Particularly in areas that are beachside suburbs or tourist areas,” he says.
Earlier this year, the University of Sydney estimated that 6000 long-term rental properties in the Harbour City had disappeared into the short-term rental market, meaning long-term tenants miss out more often.
“It’s really in certain areas, if you look at a suburb like Tamarama in Sydney it has a very high penetration (of Airbnb), given that it’s a popular tourist spot. In the outer western suburbs of Sydney, Parramatta for example, it probably has less penetration of Airbnb.
“But in those popular inner-city and tourist areas, Airbnb is certainly taking away from the number of long-term rental opportunities, for those consumers looking to rent for 12 months and beyond,” he says.
Why affordable rental properties are harder to find
The affordability issues often associated with buying are also reflected in renting as Landlords are charging more to help cover mortgage costs.
“The cost of renting has gone up in most parts of Australia with some exceptions, for example when the mining boom ended in WA, rental prices have come down.”
“But for the most part, rental prices have increased in line with the higher demand for rental property,” says Rechtman.
Around 39% of those surveyed also nominated finding a property that meets their needs as another rental pet peeve while 37% were fed up with the time needed to attend open for inspections when looking for a new rental.
“Open for inspections for rental properties tend to be very narrow timeframes, so normally half an hour and sometimes even as small as 15 minutes, whereas an open for inspection for buying is often 30 minutes to an hour.
“So part of it, is the challenge of getting to an open for inspection in such a short time window, especially if you have other inspections to go to or other obligations on your calendar,” he says.