Coastal rental properties have performed strongly during the pandemic as demand rises due to lifestyle factors and changing work patterns.
Rental prices in many Mornington Peninsula suburbs have soared, with McCrae leading the way with a 42 per cent annual rise on weekly rental payment to $585 per week.
Safety Beach notched a 27.4 per cent rise from $510 to $650 per week and Mt Eliza achieved a 19.5 per cent rise from a weekly $795 rental fee to a whopping $950, according to latest figures.
Across the bay, Geelong has seen an influx of Melburnians seeking rentals in the region that has slim pickings, according to Barry Plant Geelong director Tim Palioudis.
“A lot of people are moving from the city into Geelong and we just don’t have enough rental properties to keep up with the demand,” he said.
“We generally have quite a large rent roll of about 60 properties a month, but people aren’t moving at the moment, we have a limited 30 to 40 houses.”
Three to four bedroom homes are in higher demand and those within the $450-$700 price bracket, are getting snapped up very quickly.
A Geelong local who had been renting the same property for 11 years was given 12 months’ notice to vacate, and is still on the search after six months, Mr Palioudis said.
“There are not enough good properties available, and we are easily getting 10 or so applications for each house that is listed,” he added.
Barry Plant Mordialloc is experiencing a similar situation with multiple applications and bigger properties in higher demand, according to Head of Property Management Maria Imbriano.
“It seems when we were in a strict lockdown, we received a lot of applications and people were more than happy to take properties sight unseen,” she said.
“The market is chaotic, as years ago it would be an unheard of situation to lease a property without inspecting it, but now people are desperate and need to move urgently for whatever reason.”
Seachangers have always been a big driver for rentals in the bayside area, according to Ms Imbriano.
“Some people relocate for the kids’ school or work, but living closer to the beach takes the lead,” she said.
“We are seeing a lot of people from suburbs around Moorabbin making the move, it’s all about lifestyle.”
While the seaside markets have tightened as renters seek more space and lifestyle amid lockdowns, inner-city markets are showing an oversupply of rental properties.
Inner Melbourne suburbs saw a 32.1 per cent increase in new listings and Melbourne’s West had a 17.7 per cent increase.
Meanwhile rental properties in the Mornington Peninsula are tightly held with only a 3.1 per cent increase in new listings, while the outer east had a 4.8 per cent increase.
Rental prices have also dropped hundreds of dollars a week in blue-chip house markets, such as East Melbourne, Canterbury and Toorak, and popular unit markets including Carlton and Box Hill South.
Canterbury was hardest hit with the biggest decrease in weekly rents, down 35.4 per cent from $1200 per week in August 2020 to $775 per week in August 2021. Houses in Ormond and Brighton also experienced declines of more than 20 per cent.