A Central Coast real estate agency says it’s currently experiencing its biggest-ever boom in business, despite the continuing COVID-19 crisis.
Brand Property has seen a 196 per cent increase in tenant applications between May and August this year compared with the same period of last year.
It bucks the trend being seen in Sydney, where rental vacancies are currently the highest in the country, at 3.5 per cent, according to SQM Research.
In comparison, Central Coast vacancy rates are at their lowest level in years — at a mere 0.7 of a percentage point.
Brand Property expects the demand to continue, acknowledging it anticipates “a surge in spring rental applications” to occur over the coming months.
Through its own rent roll, Brand Property has seen the number of properties leased having increased substantially over the past six months, with inquiries and inspections also seeing heightened demand.
In June alone, it reported leasing out 50 properties, more than double the 22 leased in June 2019.
It also saw quadruple the amount of interest for those properties from interested tenants, having fielded a total of 2,895 enquiries.
According to SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher, there’s a clear trend of falling vacancies in regional locations around Australia due to city dwellers moving out of high-density areas and working from home.
Brand Property’s principal, Andre Kubecka, would agree, having commented that the trend is unfolding right before his eyes.
“People from Sydney who have been working from home during the coronavirus now see living on the Central Coast as viable and much more affordable,” he said.
“The lifestyle up here is great with beautiful beaches, lakes and an emerging café culture. The Central Coast is the place to watch.”
But it’s not only lifestyle driving an uplift in rental demand, according to Brand Property, which has also pointed out a persistent trend of renters downgrading their property in the cooler months, likely due to job losses and pay cuts.
It means “all areas are proving popular at the moment, because the more expensive suburbs are still cheap compared to Sydney”, the agency said.