News

Landlords slashing rents in the city but not the regions

24 December 2020

Landlords in Melbourne can’t get tenants right now while those in the regions can’t keep up with demand in this crazy COVID year.

The struggle to find tenants in the city has meant landlords are having to slash rents, with 26 per cent of all Melbourne houses and apartments listed for rent reducing their asking price last month.

The suburbs of the CBD, Southbank, Prahran, Windsor and South Yarra are some of those most frequently doing the discounting.

The inner-city areas have been affected by the pandemic the most with the dramatic fall in international students and the decimated hospitality, retail and tourism industries that reside there, while office workers have also left for cheaper rent elsewhere or are working from home.

Dione Wilson is from Harcourts Melbourne City and told Domain the discounts were not surprising.

“I thought those numbers could have been even higher,” she said.

“Everything we are currently bringing to market is being rented for a lot less than they were a year ago.”

“Some of our rents are up to about 40 per cent lower and we’re seeing some properties sit on the market for months.

“One property we had had been vacant for 11 months and we’ve had others that have been vacant for five to six months. Previously, our properties would be vacant for a couple of days,” she said.

But in places like Ballarat, Geelong, Shepparton and Latrobe Valley there has been a noticeable decrease in the number of advertised properties discounting their asking rental price.

In November last year in Bendigo for example, 4.9 per cent of advertised rentals ended up being discounted, but last month that was just 1.9 per cent.

Terrence Morse from Biggin & Scott in Ballarat thinks the demand is coming from Melburnians thinking about moving to the regions in the wake of COVID.

“I think the lockdown has really made people evaluate where they are currently living and so as we were coming out of lockdown I had quite a lot of Melbourne people who were looking to buy up here in Ballarat, but they wanted to get a bit of a sense of what it was like, first,” he told Domain.

“They were asking for say six, nine or 12-month leases, but they were willing to pay three or four months in advance, because they’d sold up in the city and they were just looking for, I guess, that country feel.”

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