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Relocating to Sydney - Why are rental prices so high right now?

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

If you are currently looking to rent a home in Sydney, you’re likely to be struggling.

There are a variety of factors that are to blame for the current rental squeeze, and some of them aren’t going away in a hurry.

Low Vacancy Rates: A low vacancy rate shows when there are a lot more people looking to rent vs the number of rental properties available. The increased competition drives up rental prices, making it harder to find a decent property at a reasonable price. In Sydney, vacancy rates are sitting around 1%, a third less than this time last year.

An Increase in Visa Approvals: An increase in both visa processing times and the number of visas being approved has resulted in lots of new residents. This has put extra pressure on the rental market, with so many new arrivals all competing for a new home to call their own. And it is a trend that looks set to continue with the state expected to gain a million new citizens over the next decade, principally from overseas.

International Students are returning: While international student numbers and overall enrolments haven’t reached pre-pandemic levels, they are certainly trending up. In addition to Chinese and Indian students (who make up a large majority of the overseas student population), new students from Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan and other emerging markets are helping drive this sector’s recovery.

Property Prices & Rising Interest Rates: The huge rise in house prices during the pandemic priced out many aspiring homeowners, forcing them to rent for longer. Interest rates are also still on the rise, making it harder for first-time homebuyers to purchase, and prospective buyers and investors hesitant to commit. With more Australians staying in the rental market, overseas arrivals are competing with locals for housing, especially in the popular suburbs within proximity of the CBD, transport links and beaches.

Our advice?

  • Engage a relocation consultant: If you want help making the rental process a lot easier, engaging a consultant is the obvious choice. Whilst our consultants don’t have a magic bullet solution, their experience securing rentals and dealing with local agents can give you the competitive edge. Having the option to have someone view properties on your behalf can also be a great time-saver or mean you can secure a property before you even arrive.

  • Re-consider your rental budget: Due to increased competition, it is becoming common practice for prospective tenants to offer a higher weekly rent than the one advertised. Whilst NSW has banned agents soliciting higher bids, tenants are still allowed to offer them. Looking at properties below your ideal rental budget allows room to bid up if there is a lot of interest.

  • Choose your deal breakers: Whilst we work hard to find an exact property match for our clients, in a tight market it’s not always possible. This is where it can be useful to consider your wish list and decide where you might be able to compromise. Working out what is a “must have '' (room for a home-office/air-conditioning) vs a “nice to have” (walking distance to the train/north-facing) can mean you have a larger rental pool to choose from.

  • Be flexible: Whilst Saturday is the most popular day for ‘open inspections’, it is also the most competitive. If you are able to attend the mid-week inspections (usually Wed/Thurs), this can improve your chances of success. Most agents like to get applications approved by Friday, so they don’t need to re-open the property over the weekend. Our consultants can view properties on your behalf, which can be useful if you are busy with work commitments during the week.

  • Be prepared: Property agents will usually take the path of least resistance. This means that it’s important to complete your rental application form correctly. And, to include all the supporting documentation required to ensure your application is passed on to the owner for consideration. Having these documents ready before you start inspecting properties, will make your life much easier. Our consultants can help you with this part of the process, provide a reference for you to include and negotiate with the agent on your behalf.

Looking for a rental property in Sydney? Need help with corporate mobility solutions? Let our experienced relocation consultants make the whole experience much easier. 😀


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