Here on the Sunshine Coast Qld rental prices are soaring. But why is that and what can locals do for it be affordable ?
The Sunshine Coast Qld has always been a popular place for people to move too. For some time the rental market has always been in demand but recently things have dramatically changed. It’s fair to say the rental market is now bonkers. Totally.
RENTAL PRICES ON THE SUNSHINE COAST IN 2021
So how much have rents been going up ? Well so far our biggest rental increase was an additional $400 a week. But most are around $75 per week. Recently we advertised a property for $700 a week and had someone offer $1,000 a week to secure it. We are also having people offer to pay 12 months in advance.
HOW HAS COVID EFFECTED RENTAL PRICES ON THE SUNSHINE COAST IN 2021
Covid has changed many things. One of these is large corporations acceptance to allow people to work remotely. Due to this we are now seeing people from mainly Sydney & Melbourne moving to the Sunshine Coast Qld while still being employed on their hefty salaries. Big corporations are allowing reliable employees to work from home. Some even alternate from working from their home office on the Sunshine Coast to working in shared office spaces like the Hive in Maroochydore.
I know when Kath & I moved here from Sydney in 2005, we had spoken about it for years before making the move. Covid has been the push many people needed who were wanting to make the move to the Sunshine Coast but just didn’t feel ready for it yet. Now they almost had no choice. The Sunshine Coast is seen as a Covid Safe Haven.
In addition to the push with people moving to the Sunshine Coast from interstate, it’s the old supply and demand issues, where right now there is no more land, so new properties just can’t be built. Sure that’s slowly changing as more land is released but it’s slow.
Rental prices on the Sunshine Coast in 2021 for people that already live here is a major challenge. There is a lot to love living here & it’s only getting better. Local council and the government are pouring a stack of money into infrastructure and development & people are finally taking notice. You can read more about just a few of the exciting things in another article about changes on the Sunshine Coast here.
For locals rental increases feel unaffordable, but the Sunshine Coast is still much more affordable than many other places in Australia. It’s easy to take for granted everything that’s on offer here. You just need to ask around and speak with people that have travelled the world or lived in different areas of the world they all have the same thing to say. “The Sunshine Coast is the best place in the world to live.”
I must admit for me. Summers are still too humid, but sure the rest of the year is totally stunning.
When we advertise a property onto the rental market we are now getting people applying for the property within hours of the property going online. We are having over 20 groups inspect at a time and often over 20 applications per property.
Many people from interstate who are “cashed up” are offering to pay 12 months in advance, pay above the rent that’s being advertised. For locals it’s a challenge.
It’s important to know that it’s illegal for property managers to ask a tenant pay above the advertised rent or pay 12 months in advance. But tenants can offer it if they like. These sort of “deals” are tempting for a property manager as the management is almost a set and forget for the next 12 months, but it can also be a trap. Just because someone has the money to pay 12 months in advance, it doesn’t mean they will look after the home.
So what are we doing about this as property managers ? Well sure we are looking at tenants who are offering to pay more and tenants offering to pay 12 months in advance but it’s not a golden ticket. We still do our reference checks so we know who they are. If someone offers us an amazing “deal” but there references do not check out then they are still not going to get approved.
So here we are where locals still have a solid chance to get ahead of these cashed up people making crazy deals. Locals that have a completed rental application, solid rental history and stable job will have far better opportunity to be approved than others. So to give yourself the very best chance do these few things ;
- Have you rental application fully completed with all emails and mobile numbers
- Supply all your past property managers mobile numbers and email addresses
- Supply all your past employees mobile numbers and email addresses
- Supply all past rental ledgers
- Supply an A4 that has a photo of yourself and who ever will also be renting with a summary of who you are
You can read more about getting your rental application approve here
TENANTS ARE NOW SHARING WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
I am now seeing more and more families or friends moving in with each other. So while a family or couple may prefer to live on their own, they are now welcoming a family member or friend to stay with them.
Recently my two daughters boyfriends have been staying with us. So we have gone from having 4 people in the home to having 6. For me it’s been no trouble and no real difference. My biggest dilemma has been making sure I don’t eat or drink food in the fridge that’s not mine. I must admit that has been slightly interesting. Open the fridge that looks nice, oh wait can I actually have it ? Strange.
Something I’m aware of here on the Sunshine Coast is people’s desire to live near the beach or near work. It’s a stark contrast to Sydney where I grew up. Work was over an hour drive away. While I didn’t rent for long. The first property I bought was a run down apartment in Bexley. I must admit Bexley was not a suburb I had any desire to live in. For me it has the start of my real estate journey. In comparison Bexley would be compared to Nambour or Beerwah here on the Sunshine Coast. People should be looking at more affordable suburbs like Nambour, just like I did with Bexley.
I realise part of the appeal of the Sunshine Coast is the ability to live so close to the beach or so close to work. The thing is. It’s all close. I can have breakfast in Montville and lunch in Mooloolaba which is an easy 30 minutes drive. In fact most of the Sunshine Coast roads flow so smoothly you really can live anywhere on the coast and still be close to everywhere. Even traffic jams here are not really traffic jams. You think that’s a traffic jam. I’ll show you a traffic jam.
IF YOUR SUNSHINE COAST LEASE IS COMING UP FOR RENEWAL
If you are currently locked into a lease. When this is becoming due you will probably be given a lease renewal offer. When this happens it will probably include an increase that might shock you. I have heard of some agencies that are increasing all their rents by $45 a week, regardless. We are doing things a bit differently. We are letting our landlords know what we think their property would rent for if it was empty and what they may want to consider raising the rent to with the current tenants in place.
I realise tenants would wonder why does their rents needs to be increased. There are so many reasons, but just a few is maintenance. Often landlords just can’t afford maintenance to be done and an increase will assist with this. While owners are currently enjoying very low interest rates, most of these owners once had interest rates at 9% and higher. Interest rates will not stay this low forever. Then we have insurances. Every year building insurance, landlord insurance, even council rates all go up. By the end of 2021 all investment properties have to have their smoke alarms upgraded which is a cost of around $1,000. Owning an investment property is expensive. Then on top of all this almost all landlords rental income does not cover the loan repayment, so every month the landlord has to contribute to the mortgage due to the short fall.
MOVING AWAY FROM THE SUNSHINE COAST TO FIND MORE AFFORDABLE RENT
When I was around 20 living in Sydney there was a road that linked Parramatta to Penrith. It’s called the Great Western Hwy. Then the government built the M4. This free way runs from Penrith into the inner west and Parramatta road. When this happened more and more people moved to Penrith and even the lower Blue Mountains due to the affordability. Commuting into the city for work.
Here on the Sunshine Coast A similar situation is Gympie. With the recent road upgrades. Gympie is now an easy 60 minute drive from the Sunshine Coast. Housing is considerably more affordable and I am already meeting many people doing just this. Making the move to Gympie for the more affordable houses but commuting back to the Sunshine Coast for work & other events.
Back in Sydney I worked in the Easter Suburbs and also the North Shore. At the time I lived in the Sutherland Shire. Kath and I considered moving to the Eastern suburbs so we didn’t have the 1 hour, 30 minute daily drive, but houses where twice the price & while we could afford to do it, for us it was money we just didn’t want to spend. I assume people that moved to Penrith didn’t make the move because they wanted too, but like Kath & I realised it was the smart affordable thing to do.
At the time of writing I did some research and found 90 properties for rent on the Sunshine Coast for $300 a week or less. So people also need to consider a mental shift. Can they make a 3 bedroom home work. Do they need to rent a house or would an apartment work. In Sydney I’ve seen families with 4 kids live in a 2 bedroom apartment. Recently the ABC wrote 2 very interestedly articles about the move to Gympie and even people living in their cars.
Yes the rental market is dramatically increasing making securing a rental property very challenging. But there are still affordable properties on the Sunshine Coast . If you are being rejected look at sharpening up your application process and consider a mental shift to a slightly more affordable Suburb or smaller old house you normally would not have considered. While this change is new and a shock for the Sunshine Coast it’s something that’s been happening in other areas for years and people have had to adapt.
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