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Media Release

COVID-19 exodus: Millions of Australians move during the pandemic

        • 31% of renters have moved or are thinking of moving
        • Renters could save on average $3,640 a year by moving
        • How to negotiate cheaper rent

07 September 2020, Sydney, Australia – Coronavirus has many Australians looking for a better deal on their rental, according to new research by Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site.

A recent Finder survey of 1,000 respondents found that 1 in 5 Aussies (20%) have moved house or are considering moving in 2020.

That's the equivalent of 3.8 million Australians who say they are "pulling up stumps" on their pre-coronavirus abode.

The research also found that 31% of renters have moved or are considering moving.

Finder analysis of SQM Research data shows that Australian renters stand to save on average $3,640 a year by moving to a cheaper rental property.

Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder says the pandemic has created havoc across the rental market.

"There are a number of reasons behind the mass exodus that has resulted in falling rental prices."

"Whether it's students moving home due to university campus closures or a surge of Airbnb properties now up for rent, the last few months have shaken up the rental market."

Further Finder analysis of CoreLogic's most recent data shows that median rental prices fell by 3.75% on average across Australia from April to May.

Melbourne and Sydney have seen the most significant drops seeing 6% rent reductions on average, with Hobart and Brisbane not far behind with 4%.

The analysis also found that there are 51 suburbs in Australia where the average rent has fallen by more than 20% and hundreds more where the figure has dropped by between 10% and 20%

Cooke says it's prime time for renters to negotiate a better deal.

"The reality is many Aussies are currently paying too much for their rent. If you're in a position to move, now is the time to find a bargain.

"If moving isn't an option consider asking for a rent reduction. Compare what similar properties in your area are going for and negotiate with your landlord on a rental price that more accurately reflects market rate."

Moving to a cheaper rental property could be just what some Aussies need to fast-track their first home deposit savings.

"Whether you are saving for a deposit or just want some extra cash, renters are in the driver's seat," he said.

According to the Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker, over half of Australians (56%) believe that now is a good time to buy a property, this is up from 42% in April this year.

"If you are using the competitive rental market as an opportunity to save for a home take some time to get your finances in check."

"Use a tool like the Finder app to keep track of where your money is going and look for ways to cut down. Lenders will assess your spending habits, so if you don't want to give them any reason to knock you back make sure you rein in your unnecessary expenses.



How to ask for a rent reduction

  • Assess your payment history. If you never miss a payment you'll have better luck asking for a discount.
  • Compare rentals in your area. Check online for properties similar to yours in your suburb. If they're being offered at a lower rent than you are paying, raise it with your real estate agent and use these listings as evidence for your claim.
  • Know your credit score. If you've got a good credit score that can help your chances. Your landlord should be more enthusiastic about keeping you, and if not you have a higher chance of being accepted at a different property.
  • Be polite. Most landlords in Australia are also paying off mortgages. If you want to maintain a strong relationship with your landlord it's important to be gentle but firm with your case.

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

Every month 2.2 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and the United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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