Rental data reveals … not a lot, really

Here at Flat Chat we are all in favour of transparency and freely available information.  But we’ re scratching our heads at the latest step in that direction by the NSW department of Innovation and Better Regulation,

As you will read from the material below, you can now access raw data about the rental bonds in any post code in the state.

So you will be able to discover the average rent in an area, as well as how often rental properties are turned over and how long the leases tend to be.

All of which is incredibly …  um … something – we’re just not sure what it is.  Look, it will be helpful to some people in certain circumstances.

But as for being irrefutably useful like, for instance, letting strata schemes know when a unit has changed hands, errrr … no.  That would be a breach of privacy .

Anyway, fire up your spread sheets and get ready to ramble.  This is what the Ministry says:

For the first time consumers will have access to raw rental bond data, giving them a rare insight into the property market, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean announced last week.

 “As the Minister for Fair Trading I want to put consumers first and this data does that by allowing open, transparent access to useful rental information,” Mr Kean said.

 “This untouched data can be analysed by individuals trying to decide where to rent or invest, as well as innovators who could use the data to create apps and other programs to help consumers.

 “The comprehensive range of data includes postcodes, rent prices, period of tenure, number of bedrooms and types of dwellings.

 “Whether families want to live in Paddington or Penrith, Hornsby or Harrington Park, this is an invaluable insight that can help them choose where to rent, invest or purchase a home.”

 The data is sourced from Rental Bonds Online, the NSW Government’s secure online lodgement system, which currently holds more than 800,000 rental bonds. Registration is compulsory for property agents and self-managing landlords, and the service must be offered as the first option for new tenants for the lodgement of their bond.

 Monthly Rental Bond lodgement data – provided by the agent or landlord at the beginning of a tenancy – includes dwelling type, weekly rent amounts and number of bedrooms. Quarterly data indicates the length of the tenancy and proportion of bond refunded at the end of a lease.

 Mr Kean said the release of this information is particularly helpful for consumers in today’s rapidly changing rental market.

 “The applications of this data are wide-ranging; investors can use it to locate new and emerging rental markets; tenants can find the best and cheapest areas to rent in; and, tenants and agents can use it to find areas with long-term residents or families in the community,” he said.

 Both the monthly and quarterly data will be released on the NSW Fair Trading website. 

The the best idea for a valid use for the data suggested by a Flatchatter will win a book from my personal collection.

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