Across most of Melbourne, rental vacancy rates have remained low for the entire first quarter of 2017. In some cases, vacancy rates have fallen to levels unseen for a decade: the perfect start to the year for property investors and landlords.
The figures have surprised some in the property industry, particularly after sustained speculation last year that rates would likely trend upwards on the back of concerns around oversupply, particularly due to the influx of new apartments throughout Melbourne.
A low rental vacancy rate is a good indicator of a tight rental market. Such conditions are favourable for those looking to lease their property to potential tenants.
Recently released REIV data indicates vacancy rates have remained stable throughout March and April 2017, at 2.3 per cent in both months.
This is a significant decrease from this time last year when vacancy rates in inner Melbourne were at 4 per cent.
So, what exactly does a rental vacancy rate represent?
A rental vacancy rate relates to all rental properties that are currently on the market and how many of these remain vacant.
A low vacancy rate can therefore be a reliable indicator of a competitive rental market. This is generally beneficial to landlords looking to lease their property with the potential for minimal time with an empty investment and the likelihood of increased interest from prospective tenants.
Do low vacancy rates guarantee your property will be let?
A low vacancy rate does increase the potential of promptly letting your investment. On the other hand, increased competition means it’s even more important to review the standard of your property.
Make sure your investment remains attractive in comparison to other listed rental properties by refreshing an older house or apartment if it is starting to date. Give it a fresh coat of paint, new carpet or blinds. These steps can help to lift the property and allow prospective tenants to feel they have a blank canvas to make their own. Don’t forget to have professional images of your property taken for online and other advertising. Great photography immediately allows your property to stand out.
A well-maintained property will benefit from increased interest from prospective tenants, minimal interruption to rental income and, in some cases, offers of increased rent from interested parties.
What other steps can you take to avoid a vacant investment?
In order to avoid your property sitting on the market, a strong relationship with a reputable property manager or real estate agency is invaluable.
The provision of in-depth local knowledge and industry insight from highly experienced professionals will help give your property an edge across all facets of the rental process – including pricing, advertising and understanding what, if any, maintenance is required to attract high calibre tenants and market rent.
We access our extensive database of potential tenants, which we can instantly contact via phone, email or SMS, if we believe they may be interested in a recently listed property. This allows us to hit the market running and by the first inspection we have generally drummed up quite a few interested parties. We regularly lease a property after the first inspection – this is something our landlords really value.