New stock won’t dint Canberra’s rental crisis
DESPITE vacancies rates below one per cent in Canberra, the completion of the capital’s largest-ever residential development will do little to ease the city’s deepening rental crisis, says one of the ACT’s leading property developers.
The $100 million Infinity project in the city’s north saw 426 apartments delivered to the market but, with rental vacancy rates hovering under one per cent, it will barely put a dint in demand.
Geocon managing director Nick Georgalis, whose Infinity development in Gungahlin was completed this month, said spiralling population growth and barriers to investment have created the “perfect storm” in the national capital for first-home buyers and renters.
Mr Georgalis said the lack of residential supply had put huge pressure on rental costs.
“Canberrans are paying among the highest rents in the country and even if they can afford it, it’s a struggle to secure a property against competition from so many other prospective tenants,” Mr Georgalis said.
“We hear repeated claims about an apartment oversupply in the ACT but these claims are patently incorrect, as demonstrated by our inability to provide enough accommodation for renters.
“If we don’t do something to attract more investors and get more properties built to accommodate the rapidly increasing population in this city, the future looks bleak both for young Canberrans hoping to get a foot on the property ladder, and those simply wanting a decent place to rent.”
This week Ray White Canberra rented out one apartment in Infinity – the highest residential towers in Canberra – within record time.
More than 15 groups inspected the two bedroom unit on Saturday (pictured above), and just over half put in an application on the same day. The unit was leased by Monday morning to a Sydneysider moving to Canberra for work.
“That’s an amazing turnaround considering it was only advertised last Wednesday. Canberra is a very transient city and we do get an influx of interstate people at the start of the year but stock is very hard for people to find with vacancy rates extremely low,” said Ray White Canberra director Sam Faulks.
“So far this year we fielded over 6500 enquiries from prospective tenants, held over 330 inspections, had nearly 1800 prospective tenants attend inspections and received over 1000 applications,” Mr Faulks said.
All this enquiry resulted in Ray White Canberra leasing more than 80 properties so far this year.
Mr Faulks expects the Infinity building to be highly sought after considering it was so unique for the Gungahlin district.
“This projects ticks all the boxes – it’s literally brand new and there’s nothing like it in the area. It is also a seriously cool development with great amenities with its infinity pool and shared spaces.”