In softening rental markets in Brisbane and Perth, potential tenants are being offered gift vouchers, iPads and rent-free periods all while demand remains strong in Sydney and Melbourne.
An otherwise unremarkable Brisbane property attracted attention on news and social media site Reddit because its landlord was asking $300 per week rent, but would give the lucky tenant a free $300 Coles Myer gift card on approval.
Others told of being given iPads and other gifts but Real Estate Institute of Australia president Neville Sanders said incentives were nothing new.
“When you want to make your property a bit more appealing than the one that’s down the street, one option is price, but when a landlord doesn’t want to lower the price for a whole year, an incentive can help.
“It always used to be one week rent free and I think you’ll find the incentives being offered today are to an equivalent value.
“I think being able to actually give somebody a voucher or an iPad is really just for the feel-good factor.”
He said that while national rent demand remained steady, there were softening pockets including in Perth.
“There’s been an adjustment in the market,” he said.
“I was talking to one Perth agent with a very large rent roll on Wednesday and he said a landlord still expecting the same rent they got 12 months ago would find it hard to get a tenant today.
“There are still pockets that are very strong, but some are struggling because the mining construction boom has wound down over the last year. The mining production boom is still continuing, but production requires less people.”
The same could not be said for inner-city Melbourne.
“Then again I was also talking to one rental manager in Melbourne in the Docklands area where there are a lot of apartments and the vacancy rate is extremely low, there’s very much a shortage and no such thing as an incentive in that market.”