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Concerns that ‘rent-bidding’ could drive rental prices up

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A leading economist has warned that ‘rent-bidding’ could push rental prices up.

US start-up Rentberry is set to launch in Australia later this year. The app hosts online auctions for rentals, allowing tenants to submit offers to landlords in order to secure a property. 

But Domain economist Andrew Wilson told Tom Elliott he thinks the system will ‘absolutely’ drive rental prices higher in Melbourne’s market.

Mr Wilson said there are no constraints on the price we are willing to pay in rent other than what we can afford because we don’t have to borrow to get a lease.

‘The whole purpose is to maximise rental outcomes,’ he said.

‘That’s why it would be supported by landlords.’

He said tenants will benefit because it increases transparency in the bidding process.

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