Melbourne Academics Explain What Renters Really Want

By: ce | 25 May 2016


Dr Andy Krause and Dr Gideon Aschwanden, a property lecturer and an urban analytics lecturer from Melbourne University, have researched what local renters really want. Their findings can help property investors find homes appealing to renters, both in the Victorian capital and in key investment markets across Australia.

A lavish home with water views might appeal to you, but most renters would prefer a more modest dwelling. Location always matters in real estate, but choosing a property close to desirable facilities is more important than selecting one in an affluent neighbourhood. By considering Domain Group data, the researchers found the most profitable investment properties were within 500 metres of train stations or close to universities.

“Renters, generally speaking, have lower incomes and are less likely to own a vehicle and are more dependent on public transportation,” Dr Krause explained to “It’s probably safe to say they are generally younger as well and are more amenable to taking public transport — it’s easier for somebody in their 20s than somebody in their 70s.”

As renters are typically young, they also seek different amenities than homeowners. For example, the research found homeowners want properties close to schools, but this isn’t a major concern for renters.

“I think our research shows if you’re buying an investment — your second or third home purely to rent out — you need to think about amenities renters want, don’t think about what you want,” Dr Krause said. “An investor needs to change their mindset a little bit and ask themselves what renters pay for, whether that’s proximity to public transport or something else.”

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