For decades now, owning investment properties has been considered by most Australians as an outstanding means of building wealth and long-term security.
And for good reason.
Property markets in Australia have enjoyed moderate (and in some cases, dramatic) long-term growth over the past 50 years, which have provided excellent returns for countless investors. What’s more, many have taken advantage of generous tax deductions – including from negative gearing, which can reduce the amount of tax you pay on earnings at tax time. Meanwhile, the equity in investor portfolios has been a valuable resource, allowing investors to secure finance to achieve other goals – whether they be investment or lifestyle focused.
Pretty good, right?
Then there’s rental income – arguably the most obvious and sought-after motivation for investors to purchase additional properties.
Renting out your investment property gives you an income to contribute to your home loan, which usually means you can pay it off sooner. Provided you pay your mortgage off, investment properties can become a long-term income stream that typically increases over time.
At this point, we should pause to mention that the aforementioned benefits depend on a few factors. Market conditions and economic trends play a significant part, as does the importance of choosing a good investment in the first place (we can help you with that). And even in an ideal environment, it’s important to be aware that fluctuations happen, including with rental returns. Let’s look at some of the reasons why.
Why rental income fluctuates?
Interestingly, the weather is one of the biggest influencers of rental demand. According to a study conducted by realestate.com.au, data shows that demand for rentals drops at the start of winter and recovers before spring. This is particularly true of beachside suburbs, which typically reside in areas that are less popular in cooler months.
Rental properties up for grabs at the end of the year can also be impacted by decreases in demand. Both June (winter) and December are generally the easiest months to find a rental property, according to realestate.com.au, with far less competition in the market – which can force prices down.
Meanwhile, rental properties in suburbs close to universities can also experience fluctuations depending on the time of the year. During university breaks, demand often peaks, whilst throughout the semester (when students are immersed in their studies), it plateaus.
Other factors which can impact rental returns include the economy of the town or suburb where the property is located – for example, an emerging or existing major business or industry in the area, such as mining can drive demand up or down. How scarce similar rentals are in your area (i.e. supply and demand) is also another major factor. Whilst supply of new properties on the market is inevitable and can have a short-term effect, you can safeguard against this by buying in a suburb with low vacancy rates and by checking with the council on the number of new development applications in the pipeline. Another potential impactor includes the holiday season – availability of lease options via websites like Airbnb can create upward pressure on rentals when there are fewer long-term options on-hand.
The key takeaway
Investors should expect some fluctuations in the rental yield of their investment property – it’s normal. Ultimately, the most important thing investors can do to shield themselves against fluctuations is to invest wisely in the first place. Choosing an investment property that will be ‘ever-green’ in its appeal to renters – through factors such as location, style, and features is a way to help ensure consistent results that cannot be underestimated.
Like basically all investment properties, your rental will do best when viewed in the long-term.
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Over the years at Providence, we’ve gained a reputation for achieving superior results through research-driven insight, meticulous property selection and the highest levels of advice and customer service. Our services enable you to save time and money in the selection of property with ease, simplicity, confidence and proven results. If you’re interested in finding an ideal investment property, get in touch with our expert team.