Single households now make up almost 25 per cent of the rental market, so it’s important to have an investment property that appeals to this group — especially if the property is not particularly attractive to other demographics, such as families with children. So what do single people look for in a rental property?
Under 35s like living near the city. Whereas those with families are willing to commute longer distances in order to rent a three-bedroom house in the suburbs, singles want to be close to the action. They prefer high-density living, such as apartments and townhouses in or close to the city, and are reluctant to waste valuable time commuting long distances to work.
Restaurants, cafes, shops, beaches and nightlife are what young singles are all about. If your investment property has many of the things they value within easy walking distance, it will be much more appealing to them; so much so that they will be willing to overlook things such as higher rents, limited parking and smaller living spaces, just to be in the heart of the action.
If your property investment is in an apartment block that boasts a gym, swimming pool, sauna or other such amenities, it will be even more attractive to the single tenant market.
Singles like convenience, and if your property is close to a range of social venues, then it will be viewed very favourably. They are likely to develop circles of friends they meet in local pubs, clubs and cafes and not travel much beyond the boundaries of these inner city communities.
Singles will often forego owning a car if there is reliable public transport close by. An investment property that is situated within walking distance of buses or trains will be attractive to under 35s and doesn’t necessarily need to have its own parking facilities.
Many under 35s are students, so if your rental property is situated near a college or university, or near public transport that provides easy access to such institutions, it is more likely to be in demand by single renters.
Many singles are also professionals on good incomes, so if your property has modern, upmarket fixtures and appliances and other attractions such as a balcony with views, it will tick more boxes for these kinds of people.
Singles are also more likely to have or want to have a pet of some kind, so if you are prepared to allow low-impact indoor pets such as cats and birds on your property, you will make it much more attractive to them.
Naturally, as with any demographic, there are good and bad single tenants and, while you want constant occupancy of your investment property, you also want a tenant who pays the rent on time and treats your property with respect.
A group of singles in a share situation is not always desirable because individuals tend to come and go over time, often without your knowledge, and you never really know who is living there and how they are treating your property. The ideal single tenant is one who lives alone, has a professional job and views your property as their own home and treats it accordingly.