Students drive up demand for rental accommodation by as much as 30%

FEBRUARY 28, 2020

With over 1.4 million students across Australia returning to university[i], the demand for rental accommodation can surge by as much as 30% in February, according to leading real estate group, Raine & Horne. 

Angus Raine, Executive Chairman of the Raine & Horne Group, advisers that local and international students will require a combination of persistence, punctuality and presentation to secure suitable rental accommodation before lectures commence.  

“Treat a meeting with a property manager like a job interview – smart casual attire, including polished shoes rather than shorts and thongs won’t hurt your chances of finding rental accommodation. 

“Also, don’t be afraid to engage the property manager in conversation. Being respectful won’t you’re your chances either when the property manager is reviewing several tenant applications. 

“Taking mum and dad to a rental property inspection can work well too and getting them to countersign a lease agreement can help your cause with a property manager.”

Mr Raine continued, “Moreover, students must have the necessary paperwork such as a bank statement or payslip to prove they can meet the weekly rent.”

Rent will only be one of the expenses that university students should budget for, according to Mr Raine.

“Don’t forget electricity, gas and internet costs, while you’ll need to buy some furniture, as many properties come unfurnished,” he advised. 

“You’ll also need to pay a bond, which is normally the equivalent of four weeks rent. If your rental isn’t near the university, figure out how much it will cost to travel there over the year.

International students prefer inner city apartments in Adelaide

Jacky Yang, Co-Principal of Raine & Horne Unley, said the rental market Adelaide, which is home to University of Adelaide and University of South Australia remains tight with almost no vacant apartments available in the inner city in February.

“90% of international students prefer to live in an inner-city apartment when they first arrive in Adelaide to attend university, and this drives up demand for rental accommodation in February by up to 15% than the annual average,” Mr Yang said.

“This level of demand puts the squeeze on the supply of rental apartments with some students prepared to pay up to $50 more per week to secure accommodation close to the university.”

Mr Yang said the average price for an entry-level two-bedroom apartment with one bathroom in a new development such as Kodo is $550 - $580 per week.

Rental vacancies tight within the UNSW footprint

Rental accommodation is tight in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs this February, with virtually nothing available within walking distance of University of NSW (UNSW), as international students start to return to Sydney.

“Our student market is dominated by overseas students rather than local and country-based students,” said Sam Karatasas, Principal of Raine & Horne Kingsford/Kensington.

“With vacancy rates of just 3.5% and demand for accommodation in February about 30% higher than the yearly average, any possible student accommodation in Kensington, Kingsford and Randwick is being snapped up almost immediately.”

“That said a two-bedroom apartment, at Unit 4 Kennedy Lane, Kingsford[i], which is available for $550 a week is a rare opportunity for students to grab some rental digs just two minutes from UNSW,” Mr Karatasas said.

Angus Raine’s tips for beating the rental squeeze in 2020

  1. Treat appointments with property managers like a job interview.
  2. Be punctual and present professionally.
  3. Inviting mum and dad to an open for inspection and asking them to sign rental guarantees can improve the odds that a student can secure a rental property.
  4. References from employers, university lecturers, school teachers, a family doctor or solicitor – and especially past property managers or landlords – are essential.
  5. Take along paperwork such as your motor vehicle licence, passport, bank statements and payslips.
  6. If a manager offers you a property, take it immediately, or you could miss out.