22 April 2024

Need some help up front? Build-to-rent complex offers four weeks' free rent

| Ian Bushnell
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Dickson Village Apartments is Canberra’s first build-to-rent complex. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Canberra’s first build-to-rent operation is offering four weeks’ free rent for its new two-bedroom apartments as an incentive despite a tightening market.

Dickson Village is home to a new Coles supermarket and shops but also contains five floors of 140 apartments, about half of which are already leased.

Developer TP Dynamics sold the building at the Dickson shops on the corner of Antill and Badham Streets in October, not long after completion, to Aware Super, which hired Essence Communities to manage the apartments.

Leasing manager Abby Fulton said 43 two-bedroom, two-bathroom and one-car-space apartments are available, some with furniture packages.

She said BTR meant tenants had more security and were not at the mercy of their landlord and in fear of being kicked out.

“It’s all about putting the tenants first, and with the rental crisis and prices going through the roof, landlords having a bit of control on what they are charging, it’s been good for BTR to come to Canberra to create more stability,” she said.

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SQM Research reports that the median two-bedroom unit rent in the inner north is $704 a week; the Dickson Village apartments start at $695 a week.

Long-term leasing options are also available.

Ms Fulton said the rent offer was an incentive for potential tenants in a tough rental market, offering some flexibility in managing what can be onerous up-front costs.

“People are always nervous about paying their bond and rent at the beginning,” she said. “This is a bit of a help to get them going.”

Furniture packages are also available. Photo: Zango.

SQM Research reports that the rental market in Canberra has tightened after a relatively easier 2023.

The March vacancy rate overall was 1.6 per cent compared with 1.5 per cent in February but 1.8 per cent at the same time in 2023. In December last year, the vacancy rate was 2.1 per cent

In March last year, there were 1060 rentals available compared with 980 this year.

Rents to 12 April have increased by 0.8 per cent overall, but for in-demand houses, the rise has been 2.8 per cent and units 1.7 per cent.

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SQM says the combined median asking rent was $665, up 0.9 per cent on the previous month. For houses, it was $772, up 2.1 per cent, and $574 for units, hardly moving at -0.3 per cent.

BTR is in its infancy in Australia but the ACT Government views it as an important element of its housing strategy, offering tax incentives for projects and releasing a block in Turner for dedicated BTR development of 270 units.

It also has plans for a further five BTR sites plans including a large one in Gungahlin to be released along the same lines as the Turner tender.

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those median rent figures are not credible

This article reads like an advertisement. SQM says 2-bed apartment median asking rent is cheaper in Braddon ($663) and Dickson ($608). For balance it’s instructive to understand the experience of tenants in the Parkview BTR before taking the claims of a BTR leasing manager at face value: https://www.smh.com.au/property/news/tom-was-given-a-48-percent-rent-hike-but-that-s-not-why-he-s-upset-with-his-corporate-landlord-20230517-p5d90r.html

Incidental Tourist5:48 pm 23 Apr 24

Interesting to see ACAT case when a tenant argues unfair rent increase from 0 to full amount above CPI.

Build to rent doesn’t work…

We need these developments in suburban shopping centres – much better to increase density that keep up with the continual expansion into green fields.

That’s exactly where this building is

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