Many Australian landlords are offering a month’s free rent to lure in tenants after the coronavirus pandemic sparked an economic downturn.
Landlords in Sydney – known for its sky-high rents – are being taking the drastic action after many renters left the market; either moving back in with parents to save money or expats going back overseas.
With hundreds of thousands of Australians and foreign workers stood down by businesses across the country, many were unable to pay their rent and left major cities.
The exodus has sparked a 300 per cent rise in vacant rental listings in the past month in some areas of Sydney, according to date from realestate.com.au.
Landlords are offering massively reduced rent across Sydney due to the coronavirus crisis. Pictured: Listing for Paddington
One property in Olympic Park, home to the Opal Tower debacle, is being offered rent free for the first four weeks
The same situation is also causing price drops in Brisbane, with apartments in the city’s Sky Tower lowering their rent.
‘Price drop! Fully furnished one bedroom apartments in Sky Tower at just $400 a week,’ an advertisement read.
A two-bedroom apartment on Adelaide Street, in Brisbane City, is charging $550 per week with free rent available until April 30.
On Queen Street in Brisbane’s CBD, Spire is offering six weeks free rent and three months free internet for a two-bedroom unit which costs $750 per week.
Other landlords are offering massively reduced rent across Sydney, with one four-bedroom house in the northern beaches offering a whopping $445-a-week discount for the first six months.
Offering ocean views in Fairlight, it now costs $950-a-week rather than $1,395.
Similarly in Bondi Junction in the city’s east, a three-bed house was reduced from $1,300 to $1,000-a-week – a $7,800 saving over the six month period.
Pictured: Sydney Olympic Park is located 15 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD. Both suburbs have dozens of listings offering free and reduced rent incentives
A two-bedroom apartment in Chatswood has dropped rent to $580 per week after charging $750 for the past four years
‘No one wants to [reduce rents], but it’s better to get something coming in,’ Rebecca Kleiner of LJ Hooker Bondi Junction told domain.com.au.
Ms Kleiner said vacancy was the ‘biggest expense’ during the pandemic.
Homes across Sydney were being offered with the first two weeks’ rent for free to entice willing lodgers.
One property in Olympic Park, home to the Opal Tower debacle, is being offered rent free for the first four weeks.
Other landlords are reducing their asking price altogether, realising renters are unlikely to be able to pay higher costs in just a few weeks’ time.
A two-bedroom apartment in Chatswood was being offered at $580 per week after charging $750 for the previous four years.
On Queen Street in Brisbane’s CBD, Spire is offering six weeks free rent and three months free internet for a two-bedroom unit which costs $750 per week
The same situation is also causing price drops in Brisbane, with apartments in the city’s Sky Tower lowering their rent
‘Rather than see the unit remain vacant over the next 6 months (or more) the owners have instructed us to reduce the rent significantly, right now, in order to secure tenants,’ the listing reads.
‘So if you’re searching for a bargain. This is it’
The coronavirus pandemic has also led to discounted rent in Melbourne.
‘A lot of them [landlords] have the initiative to actually offer such discounts, given the current times,’ Greg Hocking Holdsworth’s Carlo Russo told Domain.
‘Just to help people out and, as well, be a bit more competitive.’
Mr Russo said the price on any rental property can be discussed during the health crisis, even if it’s not listed with a discount.
He has advertised a one-bedroom terrace in Albert Park for $590 per week, with the first three months discounted to $500.
One CBD apartment listed at $1,695 per calendar month has been discounted to $1,477 per month for tenants who have lost income due to the health crisis for the first three months.
Greg Hocking Holdsworth’s Carlo Russo has advertised a one-bedroom terrace in Albert Park (pictured) for $590 per week, with the first three months discounted to $500
Consumer researcher Graham Cooke, from Finder.com.au, said the pandemic is creating a ‘tenant’s market’ in major cities.
Mr Cooke said the outlook is improving for lease-hunters, with rents expected to drop by up to 10 to 20 per cent.
Fewer international students, a slow housing market and a ban on Airbnb rental properties in NSW is expected to place downward pressure on rents.
He explained: ‘There’s been three drivers behind it – student accommodation, there’s not a lot of students coming in from overseas.
‘We’re already seeing a lot of short term rental properties coming onto the long-term rental market after Airbnbs were declared illegal.
‘(And) because of the difficulty of selling a house right now, we’re probably going to have a lot of people who were trying to sell postponing.
‘That will lead to an increase in stock on the market, which will probably, in turn, push rents down’.