It’s that time of year again when people want to stay warm and hunker down for winter – including most residential tenants.
During the winter months there is a definite seasonal drop in the number of tenant inquiries, even in warmer locations, as households typically decide to stay-put.
The thought of relocating in the wet and the cold is enough to keep most people warm and content indoors.
However, it’s not a time when investors and landlords should be complacent, especially about issues such as heating and repairs.
These matters need to be attended to promptly, not just to meet legal obligations but also to maintain goodwill and avoid the risk of being forced to find a replacement tenant during a difficult market period.
That said, vacancy rates in most areas are still relatively low, at about 3 per cent or less, a level often cited by economists as a good balance between supply and demand. However, I have a suspicion there is still significant under reporting of vacancies, especially within inner city apartment projects.
We constantly see apartments simply not offered for rental. Instead their owners, often based overseas, continue to leave them to sit empty and remain in pristine condition.
In the longer term, however, these apartments will eventually be pushed on to the rental market, either by new owners or financially stressed existing owners. This could rapidly skew vacancy rates and could catch some investors unaware.
Until next week,