Thursday, May 26, 2016

Falling rents hit the media... how can investors buck the trend?

Rents fall across the country, according to CoreLogic RP Data's latest rental report for April 2016. Reading a headline such as 'Largest annual fall in advertised weekly rents' can be confronting for many investors. This particular report goes on to identify the five suburbs in each state that recorded the biggest reduction in rents over the past 12 months.

In South Australia, according to the report, the biggest fall in housing rents were recorded in Gilberton (-30.1%), Malvern (-28.5%), Glen Osmond (-18.2%), Burnside (-14.5%) and Glenelg South (-13.6%). Looking at these sought after suburbs, the figures came as a surprise. Our Leasing Team is seeing quite a different picture across our investment portfolio, and 
as a result, this article has sparked some in-depth conversations about the market and its performance.

What is our team seeing? From chatting with our senior Leasing Specialists in these areas, they are finding the rental market, particularly in the east and Glenelg have been 'consistently strong'. These suburbs offer a great lifestyle with access to excellent schools, restaurants, appealing shopping districts... the list goes on.

Looking further at our own results, over the past 12 months 100% of our properties in these suburbs have achieved the advertised rental price, with 78.6% of these properties achieving the same or improved rental amounts. Our vacancy rate has also been consistently lower than what we have seen in years - currently Toop&Toop's vacancy rate is at 0.64% compared to the industry average of 1.9%.

So what is the explanation? What is the 'X factor' that enables a property to buck the trend? From what we are seeing, it comes down to presentation and marketing.

When a property in sales or rentals is presented and marketed well, it not only has a positive and noticeable impact on enquiry levels, but also to the end price that is achieved. We have seen 70% of new properties to our investment portfolio elect professional photography and 67% opt for a signboard. It is clear there is an increasing number of landlords taking up the opportunity to utilise our national award-winning in-house Advertising Studio. Investors are now experiencing the same benefits that a well-thought-out marketing strategy offers those selling their home.

If you're like me and read the property market reports religiously, remember that despite the media headlines such as this week, optimal results can be achieved through a strategy tailored to your property. Hearing first hand from your managing agent about their available marketing options, quizzing them on the current market conditions and having a competent and professional team look after your properties goes a long way to optimise your rents, and can help you buck the trend!

Suzannah Toop

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