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‘Critical’ for every Aussie dwelling to house tenants this winter

By Grace Ormsby
21 March 2023 | 11 minute read
Hayden Groves reb

Australians who own vacant properties are being urged to put them into the rental market over the coming months.

The president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA), Hayden Groves, said low rental vacancy rates on show across the country mean it is “critical” that every dwelling house tenants over the winter months.

“We have a severe rental shortage in Australia, making for a terribly difficult time for anyone seeking to secure a rental,” he stated.

Citing the latest Real Estate Market Facts report from the institute, Mr Groves flagged that the vacancy rate across Australia’s capital cities is down at just 1.7 per cent, which the president conceded was “well below the typically balanced market of around 3.5 per cent.”

Adding to tenant woes, “the report found that rents for a three-bedroom house increased by 1.3 per cent over the December quarter to reach $524 per week.”

“Any property investors or anyone that has available accommodation, we ask you contact a local Real Estate Institute member property manager to help,” he urged.

He pointed to a recent initiative by the Eurobodalla Shire, which recently asked all ratepayers to do this.

The president said this action attracted 80 homes back into the rental pool.

Therefore, “if we make a nationwide effort, that could release as many as 42,000 new rental listings into the market across the country ahead of winter, averaged out across our 537 local governments across Australia.”

By extension, Mr Groves said anyone considering selling their home should also speak with their local REI-member agent.

“We know the current interest rate environment means buyers are being a lot more discerning with their reduced borrowing power, but quality homes are still selling well.”

Mr Groves said that in autumn, REIA would be working across a range of key stakeholders to find new ways to unlock existing housing supply.

“Governments know what they need to do and have put this intent in place through the Housing Accord. They now need to get new homes built for Australians to alleviate housing stress on individuals and families.” 

The REIA recently commented on the concerning “chronic housing shortage,” noting the 1.1 per cent decrease in rental vacancy rates over a 12-month period.

In the 12 months to December 2022, every Australian capital city recorded increased rents, with Brisbane reporting the largest annual increase (21.4 per cent) this century.

At that time, Mr Groves said the REIA would belooking to state and federal governments for meaningful action on housing and reforms of systems limiting a rapid injection of rental supply.” 

“We have had inadequate investment and planning reform in Australia for many years, and now it is time for true action,” he concluded.

‘Critical’ for every Aussie dwelling to house tenants this winter
Hayden Groves reb
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Grace Ormsby

Grace Ormsby

Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.

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