What does a building-to-rent plan look like? Will it help renters find cheaper and more stable homes?

Carly Holz gave birth to a newborn baby when she moved out of a rental property due to mold. Three months later, she moved again when her landlord decided to sell her house.

“We had no sense of security,” Holz says.

“Our big concerns were insulation, cleanliness and mold, because obviously we’ve had that happen before,” she says. “And a lot of the properties we looked at, for the comparative price range, were terrible… and very competitive.

“You were still getting 40 to 50 people doing inspections, and you had to show what was listed as the weekly rental price. It wasn’t great.”

Hales and her family decided to move to a rental property in Homebush, in Sydney’s inner west, eight months ago. Tenants can sign leases ranging from three months to three years, pets are allowed and residents can make modifications.

“For anyone who is concerned about renting, I would highly suggest the build-to-rent option,” Holz says.

“Because it provides you with the flexibility, security and independence to live as if you were living on your own property.”

The tenant of the building is Carly Hales

Carly Holz moved into a build-to-rent apartment after having to move out of two rental homes in three months.

The sector is in its early stages

The ground floor apartment in Mirvac’s Liv Indigo building in Sydney’s Olympic Park has one bedroom, an office and a bathroom, with a 50sqm interior plan and a 24sqm courtyard.

The apartment is being offered at $680 a week, with a yard adding about $30 to the weekly price, says Angela Buckley, general manager of Mirvac Building for Rent. This compares to the average weekly rent of $560 for the area, according to the May 2023 Corelogic Housing Affordability Report.

Buckley says it is difficult to offer affordable rentals in this sector without government support.

“I think what we’re seeing is that we’re at the beginning of this sector,” she says. “Although commercial returns are available to build on the rental market, it is really difficult to offer an affordable product at the same level.”

A green sofa against the wall with red and yellow cushions and a picture of a bridge on the wall

The developer Mirvac rents out a one-bedroom apartment like this one but the rent is higher than average for the area.(supplied)

The build to rent target the luxury market

Real Estate Institute of Australia president Hayden Groves said the housing model as it currently exists in Australia generally targets high-income earners.

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