Increase in rental stock making it easier for tenants to find a property in inner Sydney
Renting an apartment in inner Sydney a couple of years ago was like a real life real estate Hunger Games with long queues at open homes and tenants desperately offering more money to secure even the most questionable properties. But thankfully for today’s tenants a wave of new city fringe apartments means designer digs have never been more attainable.
MORE: Buy in Australia’s oldest apartment complex
Ellen buys pop star’s epic Beverly Hills home
Despite a softer rental market across greater Sydney the 12-month median asking rent for units in the City of Sydney has actually risen (from $650 a week in the year to February 2018 to $658 a year later according to CoreLogic) it’s the increased availability that offers tenants more value for money. Unit vacancy rates in the high-density council area were at about 2.5 per cent in early 2018, but were up to about 4 per cent by early 2019 according to SQM Research data.
“I mean, it’s a no-brainer. There are a lot of apartments coming online, whether it’s Crown or any other developments, so people are spoiled for choice,” said Anthony Caudullo, head of leasing for developer Crown Group.
“As the cost of living continues to go up, you’ve got your gyms, pools, retail downstairs and even function rooms that you can use if you’re having a party, a gathering, or a formal event. It all forms part of the rent you pay and that all adds up; it saves people a lot of money,” he said.
Adrian Wilson has been selling and managing inner Sydney apartments for decades and said now is the right time for tenants seeking a good deal.
“While there has been some movement of rental prices in the tenant’s favour due to the number of new developments settling, our experience shows rental rates tend to rebound once a building is fully occupied and the demand/supply equation flips,” he said.
Mr Wilson, who recently launched a new CBD-focused agency Ayre Real Estate, said often the best time for tenants to secure a unit is just as a new building is completed.
“Once a building is full, tenants then have to compete against other tenants for the same apartment. This changes the dynamics of pricing and tends to drive the second round of rents upwards,” he explained.
But the benefits of Sydney’s new buildings go beyond the dollar figure of the weekly rent, according to Mr Caudullo.
“You can’t but a price on someone’s convenience. If you’ve got apartments located in a convenient spot, and they’re priced well, that’s important to so many professionals today. Maybe they don’t have, or want, a car so buildings like Infinity at Green Square, for example, are in a perfect location above a train station. If people need to catch a flight quite regularly, they’re 4km from the airport, which is ideal,” he said.
Crown Group has new hi-density residential developments located at Green Square with Infinity, Waterfall in Waterloo and Arc in the CBD.
MORE: Strong bidding at auctions ‘thanks to ScoMo’
Inquiry up for prestige apartments
“I spoke to a tenant recently who previously lived in town but had relocated to Bondi for a lifestyle change. Within 12 months they came back to Green Square because they said transport in the eastern suburbs is quite difficult,” he said.
Dexter Go recently left Surry Hills for a new inner city apartment in Arc by Crown on Clarence St and while he hasn’t moved far as the crow flies, the reality of inner Sydney traffic was taking its toll.
“My commute is a lot easier. It takes about 15 minutes to get to work now versus the 40 minutes to an hour I used to do. This means I take back more time for other things I need to do,” he said.
For years the CBD held a stigma that is was a place for work, not rest and play, with little to do after hours, but with new residential buildings and lock out laws toning down the weekend “club” vibe, the 2000 postcode got its mojo back for residents.
“There is plenty to do definitely. The area rarely gets quiet and there are a lot of places to hang out in,” Mr Go said.
SIGN UP TO THE NSW REAL ESTATE NEWSLETTER
According to Mr Go, there is more bang for your buck in the rental market, but concedes that Sydney will probably never be a walk in the park for tenants.
“I would say the place I am renting right now is a better value for money than any of the ones I previously rented. However, renting in Sydney is still stressful competitive,” he said.