Some Australians have expressed outrage over a real estate agency’s decision to display a sign in front of a rental property, proudly announcing that the home had been leased for a ‘record price.’ The sign, placed by an agent from the real estate firm Barry Plant, was prominently featured outside a residence in Coburg, Melbourne’s north.
Passers-by were informed that the rental property had been secured ‘for a record price in Coburg.’ A photo of the sign was shared on Reddit, drawing criticism from numerous individuals, including the person who posted it. The message on the sign was condemned for its insensitivity towards millions of Australians facing challenges in purchasing homes amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Hundreds of Aussies slammed the sign (pictured) and said it was insensitive to renters struggling to afford a home
The online post sparked a wave of discontent, with hundreds of users expressing their anger and deeming the sign inappropriate. Some questioned the morality of celebrating the financial gain obtained at the expense of tenants, while others predicted a future where rental auctions become commonplace.
Critics of the sign argued that the real estate agent was simply fulfilling their duty by securing the best possible price for the property. Some users defended the agent, stating that their primary responsibility is to deliver favorable results for property owners, not renters.
In response to the backlash, the unnamed agent clarified that the sign was not meant to offend anyone, emphasizing that their role is to achieve exceptional results for property owners.
Others said the agent was doing his job by getting the right price for the home (pictured, prospective tenants queueing up outside of a property inspection)
Lisa Pennell, CEO of Barry Plant, assured that the sign had been removed and emphasized that the agency did not intend to upset renters. Pennell mentioned that the company received offers from potential tenants exceeding the advertised price, and the decision was based on selecting the best tenant rather than solely seeking a higher price.
While Pennell did not disclose the exact lease amount, she described the property as a high-end dwelling that would likely be beyond the means of renters struggling to purchase a home. According to recent data from real estate tracker Domain, the median price of a two-bedroom apartment in Coburg is $502,000, while a three-bedroom unit’s median price is $730,000. The median rent prices for homes in Melbourne remained steady at $550 for the December quarter, with units at $520.