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Renters rejoice as increased inner-city supply of listings drive down prices

11 June 2020

If you’re looking for a place to rent in Melbourne during this pandemic, the cards are starting to fall in your favour, with asking prices in freefall.

Domain data shows that in tight rental markets in our denser areas like the CBD and Southbank, nearly half of all rentals were discounted last month.

The worst-hit are the inner-city areas, which have seen migration and the number of international students drop significantly in the face of COVID-19.

“With the closure of borders and universities turning to remote learning, that demand has fallen off a cliff,” Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell told domain.com.

On top of that you’ve got your under-29 hospitality and arts workers hit hardest by the pandemic leaving rental properties and extra dwellings hitting the market adding to supply because of the tourism shutdown.

Currently there’s over 13,000 properties listed for rent in the Melbourne CBD and Southbank combined.

It has led to landlords having to accept dropping their asking price to avoid their investment sitting on the market for too long.

“When there’s a lot of apartments in the market, it becomes a bit of a tenant’s market,” Dingle Partners branch manager Barbara Baltas told Domain.

“Tenants paying $400 to $410 a week can now pick up an apartment for roughly $380 a week, so over the course of a year that’s a big saving.”

Ms Baltas told Domain that dropping the rent was the most favoured way to entice tenant, either that or offering several weeks of free rent, but she said the market was now showing signs of stabilizing after seeing discounts around the 5.4 per cent mark,

“I don’t see rents going down any further,” she said.

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