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2022 In Review

I have to say 2022 has been my favorite of the ’20s so far. The bar was set low obviously and times are still tough for so many out there but things can only get better surely when the only way is up!

Although COVID-19 is still out there but it is a bit less at the forefront of our minds. Buying a property to live in or as an investment at least has some positive spin around it in terms of pricing, not so much with interest rates headed into the unknown, but for my purposes and in my role, I’m simply glad that vacancy rates have tightened a little.

I know that’s a selfish thing to be grateful for but in Sydney, we’ve had high vacancy rates and low rents for quite a while. Saying that, rents have not increased hugely but they have started to increase as the market has finally started to improve. Most tenants have found that the rent reviews and lease renewal offers that we have proposed have been fair and for the most part, not a surprise. I’m finding that these negotiations are resulting in our retaining tenants with them choosing to stay in their current homes, on the same terms but at slightly increased rents across the suburbs where we manage properties in  Inner Sydney.

For me, I’m just glad and relieved that it isn’t taking weeks and weeks for my client’s properties to be rented because, in the end, our priority is to secure tenants, and thankfully they are certainly back out there looking for properties. What rent increases we have seen I think have just been a stabilizing of the reductions that took place through 2020 and 2021. I am hearing about some rents being increased by crazy amounts like $220pw, and I wonder either how discounted that rent was during COVID or how much some people really believe the media reports. However, the tenants that receive these increases are refusing to pay them and opting to move on.

In my opinion, what has been most challenging about this year, and worrying is our weather. Across the globe of course, but what we’re seeing locally is the constant rain which has been such a challenge for so many Australians, from those dealing with recurring mould to those with their homes underwater. It has caused a great movement of people around Australia and even locally with so many tenants having been displaced. I am hopeful that this isn’t to be repeated annually. I know others have fared worse than in Sydney but I’m not sure all of our terraces can take such a soaking or that tenants have the patience for it.

“In my opinion, what has been most challenging about this year, and worrying is our weather. Across the
globe of course, but what we’re seeing locally is the constant rain which has been such a challenge for so
many Australians, from those dealing with recurring mould to those with their homes underwater.”

My prediction of the rental market here though is that vacancy rates will remain tight, not at record lows but consistent with Pre-Pandemic levels at the very least. I do also believe that rents will rise consistently over time as people move to and others return back to Sydney. In this last quarter, I’ve been surprised by the demand for some properties, and even some pockets in Sydney that previously had no demand.

What does concern me in the rental space is the further tightening of legislation, restrictions, and stipulations put on investors that may prompt even more to leave the market altogether which will in itself cause further supply issues. The knock-on impacts will result in rents increasing over time and fewer options for tenants going forward. I do think we’ll start seeing the impacts of legislation in other states such as the A.C.T, Queensland, and Victoria as they start to legislate various combinations of capped rent increases, increased minimum standards & the removal of No Grounds Termination notices.

Interesting times ahead, but a positive note is that NSW can watch and hopefully learn what works and what doesn’t and customise our legislation, one that truly works for all parties and doesn’t deter investors from owning a rental property simply because it’s not an attractive investment.

In 2022 I’ve also really noticed a return to the streets. At least in my pockets of Redfern, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst & Waterloo where I live & work. Traffic is back and worse than ever before but days & nights on Crown or Redfern Street you’ll find the pubs & bars packed, lineups for Messina Gelato (though Rivereno is my personal favourite) and there’s just such a pre-2020 atmosphere about with so many new venues opening or reopening. I don’t actually think I’ve ever spent this much time eating out and generally being out and about as I have this year exploring our amazing City.

Four and a half years into running The Management Agency, working in and on it, I finally feel like it’s an established, albeit small business that is here to keep kicking our own goals, one at a time.

I’d love to make this a blog about “where to from here” and “this is what I’m going to achieve in 2023” but that’s not even me. The clients, the flexibility, and the freedom that The Management Agency affords me make me honestly happy enough for the time being. I am far from “quiet quitting” here, instead we’re just quietly, and humbly achieving what I set out to.

A new client recently said something, that really resonated. She said she felt as though she’d uncovered a community-like ecosystem of Property Businesses far from the mainstream. Her experience was that she’d used a buyer’s agent that she was referred to who referred her to solicitors and brokers and was then introduced to me. The whole experience was far from Googling & hoping for the best and she had no idea how many “small players” there are.

Everyone is doing their own thing but the same thing. It really works and we’re all truly supporting small businesses. We’re all sharing, referring, and winning on our own terms & scale. And it works.

So, the goal is, to continue working and thriving in that ecosystem. Provide the best, personal, most responsive & honest service. That’s the goal.

Wishing you all a great break as we take an extended one and will be back in Mid-January.

Happy Christmas, all the best for the new year, and THANK YOU for reading and following along here. I’m constantly surprised by the traction and feedback I get from my Blogs and I am super grateful for it.

2022, you were like an 8 out of 10!

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Antonio

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– Antonio

Director & Property Manager