Lat­est REIWA fig­ures show renters hold the whip hand

Pilbara News - - Property - Kate Emery and Louise Alling­ham

WA renters are de­mand­ing land­lords cut rents and buy new fur­ni­ture to woo them as the num­ber of prop­er­ties on the mar­ket hits an all-time high.

Em­bold­ened by a flood of new rental stock and WA’s slow­ing econ­omy, agents say renters who would have queued for a prop­erty two years ago are now ne­go­ti­at­ing for a bet­ter deal or threat­en­ing to walk away.

Real­mark Kar­ratha di­rec­tor and agent Alex Wa­ters said the mar­ket trend was ev­i­dent among older Pil­bara prop­er­ties.

“There’s been a greater seg­men­ta­tion in the mar­ket where run-down prop­er­ties and older prop­er­ties ... they are strug­gling to rent,” he said.

“There’s def­i­nitely more pres­sure on land­lords to ac­tu­ally put more money into their prop­er­ties.”

Mr Wa­ters said the post-boom econ­omy had forced a mind­set shift in Pil­bara land­lords who were pre­vi­ously re­ceiv­ing high rents for houses that were lack­ing main­te­nance.

“That was some­thing that was prob­a­bly so ne­glected up here as well be­cause most of the own­ers were re­ceiv­ing such high rents with­out having to do any­thing,” he said.

“Even the worst prop­er­ties were still re­ceiv­ing re­ally high rent — it’s def­i­nitely been a mind­set shift that land­lords have had to take.”

Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of WA fig­ures show the num­ber of prop­er­ties on the mar­ket has hit a record of al­most 10,800, up from 8000 this time last year and 3000 three years ago.

REIWA pres­i­dent Hay­den Groves said having 10,800 prop­er­ties on the rental mar­ket was “un­prece­dented”. He said ten­ants had caught on and were bar­gain­ing for bet­ter deals, par­tic­u­larly if they saw apart­ments in their com­plex ad­ver­tised for less than they were pay­ing.

“As soon as their leases come up, they’re ask­ing for a rent re­duc­tion and the smart land­lords are tak­ing it,” he said.

Mr Wa­ters said with sup­ply higher than de­mand, it was a “ten­ants’ mar­ket” but well pre­sented and priced prop­er­ties were not stay­ing va­cant for long.

“There’s def­i­nitely ne­go­ti­a­tion hap­pen­ing from the ten­ant’s per­spec­tive,” he said.

“It’s not a con­sis­tent thing across the mar­ket that ev­ery prop­erty is strug­gling to find a ten­ant, (it’s just) the prop­er­ties that are ei­ther over­priced com­pared to ev­ery­thing else or need a lot of work.”

Pil­bara real es­tate agents say land­lords must be pre­pared to meet ten­ants’ needs now more than ever be­fore.

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