Renters willing to pay a little more to stay put

SEVEN out of 10 tenants are looking to buy a home, but until that happens most want to stay in their present accommodation and are willing to pay more in rent to do so, according to a recent rental market survey.

Property commentator Michael Matusik says two-thirds of the renters surveyed say they are prepared to pay up to 5 per cent more in rent to stay put, with a further 30 per cent saying they would accept an even bigger increase. Those who live in apartments seem more willing to accept a steeper increase than those renting detached dwellings.

Two out of five renters think the rental market in their area is balanced, with another one-third saying it is undersupplied.

Asked what they would do to avoid an increase, 43 per cent said they would move to a less expensive area, 37 per cent said they would move to a lesser property in the same area and 19 per cent said they would sub-lease or share to meet the costs.

Matusik says renters, similar to owners, don’t really move that far when it comes to finding new premises .

Close to one-third find new accommodation in the same suburb they already live in, while nearly one-half move to a neighbouring suburb.

While the same survey last year found a strong move towards the inner areas, this year’s survey has found that more are choosing to move a bit farther out.

Unsurprisingly, the dollars forked out in rent is top of the seven most important things tenants consider with regard to rental accommodation.

This is followed closely by the general location, then the number of bedrooms, the lease arrangements, the type of property, off-street parking and how quiet the immediate area is.

What would be nice to have – but isn’t important enough to pay more rent for – includes lots of bathrooms, fancy internal design and nearby visitor parking.

What isn’t important at all, according to the survey, is the ability to keep pets and environmental sustainability measures such as rain tanks, solar power and other water or energy saving devices.

Matusik says many commented that a fast internet connection was far more important than the “green stuff”.

For a number, the rising rents and low vacancies documented in last week’s cover story “Too many people, too few houses” could see the buy or rent dilemma resurface.

Matusik’s survey found 42 per cent of respondents say they will buy within the next 12 months, 16 per cent in the next six months and 12 per cent in the next one to two years.

The lack of a deposit is what is stopping most, says Matusik, but various data show many Australians are shy of assuming debt.

With rising rents and likely interest rate increases later in the year, even though many renters would like to get a foot on the property ladder and buy a property, the likelihood is many will remain stuck in the rental roundabout.

Source: The Australian


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