Generation Y – those born in the 1980s and 1990s – represents a large and growing rental market. At least half of Australian adults under 35 who live away from their parents are renters, which means plenty of opportunity for investors.
But isn’t this generation spoilt, self-involved and entirely lacking in any concept of responsibility? Why would I trust my property to them, you say? Not so fast. While such complaints from older people are common, they are both extremely broad generalisations and often simply a reflection of a gap in generational understanding.
While you do of course need to be careful that you rent only to those who appear sufficiently responsible, there is no reason for a blanket ban on all Gen Ys. The oldest Gen Ys are now in their early thirties – hardly irresponsible youngsters – and even those who are younger can in many respects be ideal tenants.
With more and more people having children later in life, an increasing number of Gen Ys are young professionals with significant disposable incomes. This makes them well disposed to spending more on rent, even more than many older renters – provided they get their money’s worth.
What Gen Y wants
Attracting Gen Y renters is about appealing to lifestyle considerations. Most Gen Ys want properties that are low maintenance, and which are either centrally located or have good access to the city and inner suburbs.
Many Gen Ys, particularly young professionals, choose apartment living for its low-maintenance appeal. Modern, comfortable apartments will always be in the highest demand. It’s also important in considering an apartment that you ensure it has a good balcony or outdoor space, as even apartment dwellers like to have some outdoor access.
Off-street parking and other extras
Off-street parking is also a major drawcard, both in apartment blocks and for houses in areas where on-street parking can be difficult to come by. Otherwise, consider the benefits of such extras as on-site gyms and attractive views.
Houses, sometimes a little further afield, can also appeal to Gen Ys, provided the property is close to a train station or other major transport routes. It’s also worth considering buying where there is ready access to major university campuses.
If the house has a substantial yard, consider the prospect of employing a gardener to maintain it yourself rather than making this the tenant’s responsibility – and advertising as such when arranging viewings. Cutting down on maintenance is one way to appeal to potential tenants who might otherwise not consider that style of property.
For more information and expert advice on property investment, management and renting, contact K.G. Hurst today.