Home Insights Data shows tenants are becoming less picky as choice dries up

Data shows tenants are becoming less picky as choice dries up

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With supply dwindling and rental competition intensifying, more tenants are forced to compromise on their rental housing.

When searching for homes on realestate.com.au, prospective tenants can filter their search based on various property characteristics or using keywords that include characteristics such as air conditioning, pools, bathrooms, solar panels, etc. increase.

However, with fewer rental properties available, finding accommodation has become more difficult and prospective tenants are much less likely to include filters in their searches.

The percentage of filtered rental searches has decreased by 10% over the last 12 months, further reducing the functionality of specific properties.

When it comes to features that tenants are more willing to compromise on, covered parking and balconies saw the biggest declines in searches.

In the first three months of 2023, the percentage of rent searches filtered on ‘covered parking’ is 36% lower and 35% filtered on ‘balcony’ compared to the same period in 2022 lower.

High demand and a shortage of available rental properties are forcing tenants to compromise.Photo: Getty

Other features that saw a notable decrease included ‘outdoor areas’ (down 29%), ‘built-in lobes’ (down 23%), ‘fully fenced’ (down 20%), and ‘ Includes “Ensuite” (20% down).

However, some features are bucking broader trends and increasing tenant demand.

For example, the percentage of rental searches for properties with solar panels has jumped 28% in the last 12 months.

The rising cost of living could be the driving force here.

Solar panels are an increasingly sought-after feature in rentals.Photo: Getty

According to REA Group’s latest consumer survey, 84% cited reduced utility bills when asked about the importance of energy-efficient properties. The next thing that 60% of his respondents said was doing something good for the environment.

Searches for “furnished property” and “shed” are also bucking the trend, up 18% and 17% respectively over the last 12 months.

However, despite these exceptions, it is clear that overall tenant selectivity has decreased.

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This growing willingness to compromise signals increasing pressure in the rental market as tenants grapple with diminishing options and rapidly rising rents.

Australia’s metropolitan areas saw 18% fewer rental properties available in March compared to 12 months ago.

Supply fell the sharpest in Greater Melbourne, where rentals fell 33% year-on-year, while Greater Sydney and Perth fell 18% and 16% respectively.

As population growth is projected to outpace the supply of new homes, many tenants will continue to feel pressured, leading to further compromises in the properties they rent.

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