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Rental hotspots for young professionals

By George Hadgelias

Ask a young professional what they want in a rental property and they’ll peel off “lifestyle, transport and culture” with frightening speed. 

Real estate agents across Australia agree that the growing number of upwardly mobile singles and couples know exactly what they want, are cashed up and will no longer settle for something that doesn’t meet their every want and need.

So where are they living? We’ve singled out the rental hot spots for young professionals in each of the major capital cities.


It’s no surprise that each of the real estate agents we spoke to listed lifestyle, good transport, great food and immediacy to the city as the features young professionals hold most dear when it comes to renting.

Sydney was no exception, and BresicWhitney new business executive Ryan Minuzzo says ever popular inner-city locales Surry Hills and Darlinghurst are at the top of the list, with Paddington not far behind.

“It’s the lifestyle attractions that are attached to those suburbs and the proximity to the CBD,” Minuzzo says.

“Your pubs, your restaurants, your walking distance (to other amenities), all that sort of stuff. You’re around a lot more other like-minded professionals as well.”

Minuzzo says Surry Hills and Darlinghurst have a good mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, or renovated terrace homes if people are looking for something larger.

“They are quite expensive in terms of the rental market, because of their proximity to the city and also that they are the most sought after suburbs, in terms of foot traffic coming to our open for inspections and enquiry numbers,” he says.

“But the areas, especially Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, are quite diverse in the style of the properties so sometimes you may be able to get something a little bit cheaper but it might not be as sharply renovated as perhaps a brand new building that’s just gone up or a fully renovated terrace home with parking.”


Take your pick, Melburnians: North or south?

South Yarra and Richmond are riverside and red hot when it comes to upmarket rentals, offering a wide range of both revamped older houses and an increasing number of high-end apartments.

Cast your gaze north and young professionals are hunting houses in Carlton, Carlton North and Fitzroy.

The head of Nelson Alexander’s Carlton rental department, Sue Van der Linden, says the young, relatively affluent demographic is quite specific in its property searches.

“They’re usually looking for something pretty special,” Ms Van der Linden says.

“They’ll get anything from a two to a four-bedroom with a certain standard of luxury. They certainly want more than one bathroom, they want outdoor space, they want polished floorboards.”

“They go more for the lifestyle, the cafes, restaurants. Properties in the Rathdowne Village precinct (in Carlton) just go.”


When it comes to young professionals looking to rent, Brisbane might just be the pick of the bunch.

Calibre Real Estate’s business development manager Christine Edwards says a flood of new apartments and townhouse developments have tipped the scales well and truly in the tenants’ favour.

“We’re seeing people are being quite picky. If it’s got air conditioning, they’re not just content to have just the main bedroom and the lounge room air conditioned, they’re actually looking for the (other) bedrooms to be air conditioned, too,” Ms Edwards said.

“They can be quite picky, they can find what they want and be quite specific in their choices at the moment.”

Ms Edwards says most professional people and couples are seeking out properties just east of the CBD in New Farm and Teneriffe.

“In terms of culture and lifestyle, if they’re looking to be close to the CBD, they’re just on the outskirts of the city.”

“Even possibly Spring Hill or even South Brisbane or West End. They’re all close around the CBD so they’ve all got the bus network, they’ve got the train network, and worst case scenario if you had to do a taxi it wouldn’t be too expensive.”


There is no east-west divide among the young professionals that Perth real estate agents are helping to find rental homes for.

Acton Real Estate operations manager Yoana Daniel says they’re happy to live either side of the city, as long as everything they need is at their fingertips.

“The young working couples, their preferences are West Perth and East Perth. Not necessarily the Perth CBD – they don’t want to be in the whole noise and hectic sort of lifestyle,” Ms Daniel said.

“We are finding East and West Perth very convenient; public transport, free transport to some places and they are in high demand. They’re accessible to the Perth CBD and they’re surrounded by restaurants, cafes, there’s no shortage of fine dining or entertainment or whatever they want to do.”


Turner Real Estate senior property manager Michael Nikou says that, unsurprisingly, the suburb of Adelaide itself is high on the list of rental hotspots for career-minded young people, while North Adelaide and neighbouring Eastwood and Mile End are also in high demand.

“Location and amenities are particularly important for young singles and couples and so areas where you can walk to work or easily access transport stand out,” Mr Nikou said.

“We find that Adelaide, North Adelaide, Eastwood and Mile End always attract high enquiries from the younger age group.”

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