Metrics reveal that the situation is rapidly changing as home hunters are increasingly looking to rent rather than buy.
With Melbourne showcasing one of the least restricted rental markets when it comes to capital cities, Sam Inan, director of Belle Property Brighton and St Kilda, said the market is showing clear signs of cooling buyer demand, with a noticeable decline in the average number of days rentals are spending online.
Mr Inan said this is the first sign of a shift away from purchasing and toward renting.
“Rentals are being claimed within days of being listed,” the agency principal observed.
“It is really telling of the state of the market – as buyer demand slows, this uptick in the search for rentals highlights the changing Melbourne property landscape. These properties are not listed for as long as they used to be, they’re being leased within a few days of being advertised,” he said.
In Mr Inan’s opinion, it actually presents a great time to buy, as cooling buyer demand presents less competition.
Megan Keleher, Great Southern Bank’s chief customer officer, agreed that those currently considering either buying or renting should factor in rising rents as the market tightens.
“With an already hot rental market and demand increasing, it may actually end up costing many Australians more to rent than to buy,” Ms Keleher said.
“First home buyers in particular are coming to realise that in many suburbs, it is becoming just as much to rent, as it is to buy. We also know that many people have redirected discretionary spending throughout COVID and the lockdowns, building up savings that can go towards a deposit on a home,” she noted.
While some might be waiting to invest in property – holding out to see if predicted price drops in 2023 eventuate – Mr Inan and Ms Keleher both believe that rising rents could complicate the picture.
“It’s a great time for budding buyers to get in touch with their bank or broker to explore their options. They may be pleasantly surprised to find that a mortgage is actually more affordable,” Ms Keleher said.