Renting in Australia – How the market changes during the year
Believe it or not, the changing seasons have as significant an impact on Australia’s rental market as it does on how people eat, feel and dress. The best place to check the prices for renting is surely – rental websites. While Rentola’s vast range of outstanding long and short-term rental properties provides renters with a great choice of properties all year round, depending on which time of year you’re looking can affect the range of options you have and even the price you’re going to be charged.
Why does the market change seasonally, and what is the best time of year for renters to hunt for a new property?
It’s a trade secret within the letting agency world that summer is traditionally a more popular time for renters to invest their money in a new apartment. At the same time, it’s not just the weather that cools off during the winter months, as new renters are much harder to come by.
Over time, agents have recognised that even how a property is marketed needs to change throughout the year, as what would work in December often doesn’t in June. Property managers are becoming wise to these seasonal market changes and adjusting their tactics accordingly.
How the seasons affect the market
How do the seasons affect the market, and what should renters look out for when they begin searching for their new property?
Summer is traditionally the most active season for renters to be out and about, viewing new properties and securing new tenancies. The number of vacant properties reduces, and competition between prospective tenants increases significantly.
When the sunshine is out, people tend to feel much more motivated and willing to take life-changing decisions. Workers take time off from the day job and can dedicate time to searches and viewings, while students who have finished their studies begin to enter the world of work themselves and look to branch out on their own, finding their apartments for the first time.
Indeed, that level of change goes far beyond the world of holidays and studies coming to an end. Teachers often change jobs during the summer vacation and may relocate. At the same time, it is also prime season for individuals retiring and looking to make life changes that will allow them to enjoy a slower pace of life in their later years in a new place.
Autumn / Winter
As the clouds gather, the sun recedes and goes into hibernation, and so does the rental market for the winter months. After the high levels of activity and competition amongst tenants to secure their dream property, everything is much less active throughout autumn and winter.
The desire to move during colder weather is much less attractive, while everyone is generally quite well settled at work, school and university.
In addition, people are paying off their credit card bills after Christmas and don’t have the disposable income they may have had before December, which also leads to a stagnant market.
All of this means that this is an excellent time for prospective tenants to get out and search for a new property. It’s a perfect time to maximise how far your money will stretch as asking prices may well be dropped by landlords looking to keep their property occupied, and it’s a good time for tenants to try and negotiate some optional extras into their lease agreement if the owner is otherwise facing a lengthy period of property vacancy.
While you might expect Springtime to be a more active time than the autumnal and winter months in the rental market, things remain pretty stagnant in the run-up to Christmas.
The feeling of fresh starts doesn’t hit the rental market until later in the year, and with Christmas only a few weeks away, many people are saving and attending parties, and events, shopping on the weekend and taking time away. Indeed, many prospective renters like to get the festive period over and done with and then begin hunting in the new year, using that as their opportunity for a fresh start.
This is another good time for confident investors to find a bargain deal on a rental property. However, they may find the range of available properties limited as landlords wait until the high season to list their apartments in the hope of provoking a bidding war and sucking up having a vacant property for a few weeks.
Strike while the market is cold
All of this points to the colder autumn and winter as the prime time for prospective tenants to hit the market and secure a new property without being drawn into a bidding war.
Owners will be keen to get people into their apartments rather than have them lying dormant for another six months. The opportunities to find a bargain and the little additional bonus are enormous.
Finding that extra motivation during the darker, danker weather could pay handsome dividends.
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