Brighter Buying

Will rising rents prompt a unit revival?

by Kate Watt, Marketing Manager 20 January 2022

The trend to bigger homes - with a study and preferably a sea view - has taken off during the pandemic but now some property commentators are tipping a swing back to apartments in 2022.

Affordability will drive more Aussies to downsize while increasing numbers of people moving from interstate or overseas will also boost the popularity of unit accommodation, predicts SQM Research.

“It is clear that demand has boomed for larger properties since Covid and we are not yet recording a reversal of this trend,” said SQM Research Managing Director Louis Christopher in a rental vacancy report released last month.

“However, I do believe 2022 will see a move towards units, simply by virtue of their relative affordability plus the new inflow of immigrants will look for unit accommodation first and foremost as they have done in the past.”

The prediction comes as 2021 ended with tight rental vacancy rates.

The Monthly Rental Vacancy Report from Domain showed the national vacancy rate at 1.7 per cent in December, down from 2.4 per cent the same time a year earlier.

Brisbane’s rental vacancy rate was 1.3 per cent in December, well below the Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s 2.5 per cent benchmark for a ‘tight’ rental market.

Overall, the stats are heralding good times for investors but potentially tough times for renters. Rents for houses in particular have increased, adding further fuel to the speculation that units will see a resurgence in popularity as tenants search for good value in 2022.

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