Considering that Sydney experienced some unusually high vacancy rates over the past 3 Months I can say first hand that savvy tenants have had their pick of properties, locations and the amenities on offer.

In good news though, things have picked up over recent weeks with properties being tenanted quickly but it’s got a lot of Property Owners thinking and planning ahead to make sure they’re well placed ahead or amongst of the competition down the track.

We all know renovations and improvements don’t happen overnight so planning ahead or at the least keeping in mind that new kitchen down the track is something owners can do to prepare for reletting their property next time around.

I’d add to Kate Farrellys’ article below is, but maybe it’s a given that, there’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint!

”It’s never been more important for investors to understand which features deliver the best rental return” writes Kate Farrelly for Domain.

  1. Generous outdoor space

For Castran Gilbert BDM Andrew Rowland, big courtyards and balconies – those measuring 20 square metres or more – are paying dividends for investors.

In recent weeks he fielded above-average interest in a Mordialloc (Victoria) ground-floor apartment with a 25-square-metre courtyard on title. It leased at the asking price ahead of three upper-storey apartments in the same block, which are still on the market.

“Tenants are willing to pay a good amount more to have a good courtyard, particularly if they can have pets there. People go nuts for a big courtyard,” reports Andrew Rowland. A large private outdoor area will always appeal to tenants, who will pay a premium for such space.

  1. Pet-friendly

Michael Matusik, independent housing market analyst and director of Matusik Property Insights, says investors can achieve a rental premium of up to 20 %  for a pet-friendly apartment.

“Being able to have a small dog or certain animals is a real plus in the rental market,” he says, pointing out that owners who would otherwise be forced to give up their pet are often happy to pay extra rent to keep their animal.

My own experience shows there is more and more demand for pet-friendly places.

  1. Ample storage space

We find that a storage cage is an important feature with new apartments, as they sometimes lack internal storage – a cage allows for the storage of large items such as spare furniture, bikes, etcetera. Downsizers frequently have overflow belongings requiring storage, as do those with sporting equipment such as golf clubs and skis.

  1. Secure parking

Drive-in, secure parking is a definite plus for tenants.  Tenants prefer the ease and security of their own parking space and will pay extra rent for one or two spaces. It’s best to steer clear of stackers and car lifts, which might offer off-street parking in busy areas but can be a big turn-off for (particularly older) tenants.

  1. A nod to current trends

Timber floors are really popular, but if not then new carpeting is a major plus for tenants. Let’s add staying away from some trends! Think long term.

  1. A pleasant outlook and a northern aspect

While not everyone can afford a new apartment with a water or city skyline view, our experts agree you’ll always attract a better rental return if your property has a pleasant outlook from the living spaces and balcony.

“Tenants want to feel a sense of space, to see some sky, to see some trees. They don’t just want to look at a wall or panes of frosted glass,” states Andrew Rowland. We find many tenants look for apartments with a northerly aspect to maximise light and sunshine, and in the absence of these features the property can have a longer vacancy and a lower return.

  1. A size to match the demographic

“The returns are absolutely better on one-bedders in the inner-ring suburbs close to the city,” says Melbourne-based Rowland. “But once you get to the middle ring, two-bedders take over.”

Michael Matusik says one-bedders deliver high returns in locations where they attract premium professional tenants, giving the example of a doctor wanting to live close to a hospital. But elsewhere, Matusik says, apartments with two bedrooms and two bathrooms that allow share households generally deliver the best rental dollars.

  1. Location location location

Of course, real estate’s golden rule of location remains critical for securing a top rental return.

And when it comes to apartment living, Matusik says the increased density needs to be offset by quality outdoor and lifestyle amenities. “You’re trading your inside space for your outside space,” he says. “So, you need to ask the question: Can I go for a run, can I walk the dog, are there decent restaurants and coffee shops nearby?”  Matusik reports apartments within a five to 10-minute walk of transport will attract a higher rent, as will properties within walking distance of employment hubs, the beach and thriving shopping districts.

Source: Domain.com.au Article by Kate Farrelly


– Antonio

Director & Property Manager