Unit Vacancy Rates Through The Roof – What’s the flow-on effect?

People continue to vacate inner-city living to make way for more space and lifestyle. Capital city unit rental prices have fallen sharply since the COVID pandemic hit. We have seen in Sydney and Melbourne a fall in the medium unit rental prices over the last 12 months dropped 14.5% and 18.9% respectively. 12 months ago, the same unit in Sydney that cost $620 per week now sits at $530 per week and in Melbourne, the figure dropped from an average of $475 to $385.

Unit prices are aligned with current rental expectations and underperforming the housing sector with one report indicating a year-on-year growth at the end of December 2020 of 2.5% in Melbourne and -0.3% in Sydney. This is making entry into the unit market in the capital cities much more affordable for many first home buyers.

How does it affect us here on the Sunshine Coast?

I believe what if we see the continued migration of southerners choosing to make the Sunshine Coast their new home. This will continue to push up buyer numbers which will continue to outweigh the number of properties available to purchase. Also, we have already seen an increased interest from investors who are often outbidding first home buyers on properties as they now seek new opportunities for investments on the coast.

As much of the inner-city unit real estate is owned by investors, they may start to sell up there and buy up here. Also, with cash savings at an all-time high and interest rates at an all-time low, we now have many first-time investors entering the market. While locally many homeowners appreciate, they can sell for a premium price the ultimate questions that I am continued to be confronted with is where will we go? Of course, you will pay more if you decide to move but you’ll also find it more challenging is finding a property to purchase. There are ways around this which I’d be happy to share with you if you fall into this category.

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