New research from the Australian Housing and Urban Research (AHURI) shows the private rental sector is the fastest expanding part of the housing market. One in four households in Australia is now a rental.
The AHURI has also highlighted the need to make changes to the current private rental sector. This includes working to remove any stigma associated with renting, rather than owning.
According to an article from News.com.au, '2.1 million Aussie households — about 26 per cent of all households — lived in the private rental sector in 2016. The sector grew 38 per cent between 2006 and 2016 — increasing at twice the rate of household growth.'
Data from 2013-14 shows there are 1.135 investor households in Australia. 72% of those people own one property, while the rest have multiple.
AHURI is now trying to encourage investors and landlords to see themselves as being housing providers. Currently, many people see rental agreements as the processing of 'letting' people live in your house. If this change is made in the private rental sector, AHURI says it will change the way renters and landlords are viewed in wider society, and reform the way contracts are approached.
Currently, three-quarters of all private rental properties are looked after by property managers. This sector is said to need more training and attention as the private rental sector continues to grow every year.
The increased trend to rent in Australia is due to the rising price of housing. Once a transitional sector between leaving home and buying a house, renting is now the most affordable option for many Australians. People on both lower and higher incomes are renting now, more people are renting with children and more into and past mid-life.
The term of leases is also extending, with up to 10 years becoming a normal amount of time for people to lease the same property. This trend is both a comfort for renters and landlords, with guaranteed security for both parties.
For some time AHURI has been trying to communicate that renters are not second-class citizens in Australia. With the diversity of people who now rent, more than ever the sector is under more attention and competition. Renters expect a high level of quality service for the money they pay for a property. This includes a decent level of maintenance and prompt responses to any requests.