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Monday, 25 May 2020

People are out renting again

Renters return

There have been plenty of signs that folks are starting to search for places to rent and signing rental agreements again following the shutdown.

Rental searches online are now rising solidly again according the REA Group's figures.

Interestingly (for me anyway) I had an inner-west Sydney apartment due for lease renewal last week, and there was plenty of interest as soon as we listed it. 

We had two applications immediately and accepted one within a couple of days of listing. 

We did, however, agree to a $20/week rental reduction to get it rented for the next 12 months...just to get us across to 'the other side' of the COVID-19 crisis.

In the meantime, it's Aussie staycations ftw!

Rental listings in decline

SQM Research's Louis Christopher showed today that the number of rental listings is now in decline.

The peak number of rental listings was 105,517 as at May 1, which makes sense given how the timings of the COVID-19 restrictions have played out. 

Listings are still higher than we'd normally expect to see for the month of May; but now things have been trending lower again for the past four weeks.

At the beginning of May rental listings were 16 per cent higher than a year earlier.

But now the year-on-year gap has closed to just 9 per cent, and I expect the declines will now continue as confidence and market activity gradually returns. 

Source: SQM Research

Here are the same numbers plotted out by week on a graph:

I still believe there will be pain in the post for student lets, Airbnb rentals, and some commercial property types, especially office and retail, but the residential rentals markets is quietly rumbling back to life.