Tight rental mar­ket ‘ut­ter hell’ for house hun­ters

Nelson Mail - - FRONT PAGE - KATY JONES 6 Opin­ion 8,9 World 11 Food 15 Puz­zles

Rental prices in the Nel­son re­gion have hit new highs, two re­ports show, on the back of a big fall in the num­ber of rental prop­er­ties avail­able.

The me­dian rent in Nel­son/Tas­man rose 10.5 per cent in the year to March to $420 a week, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Trade Me Prop­erty Rental In­dex. The in­crease was sec­ond only to Hawke’s Bay, where the me­dian rent grew 14.3 per cent to $400 a week.

Com­pe­ti­tion for rental prop­er­ties in Nel­son, re­sult­ing from the short­age, was de­scribed by one house-hunter as ‘‘ut­ter hell’’.

‘‘I went to one [view­ing] in Ox­ford St in Rich­mond, and about 30, 40 peo­ple must have turned up, if not more,’’ said the man, who doesn’t want to be named for fear of jeop­ar­dis­ing the rental house in Stoke that has taken him and his fam­ily three months to find.

The con­struc­tion worker in his 40s was liv­ing in a tent in a camp­ground in Rich­mond, be­fore ex Cy­clone Gita ‘‘blew it to pieces’’ in Fe­bru­ary, and he moved in with his part­ner’s fam­ily.

‘‘We were go­ing to view­ings and my part­ner was break­ing down in tears, try­ing to tell them how badly we needed a place to live. And the thing I found frus­trat­ing was that we haven’t got quite enough to buy a house, but we have money put aside to rent a house, and we couldn’t do ei­ther.’’

De­spite hav­ing $4000 – $5000 of sav­ings set aside for a rental, they kept on get­ting turned down.

Sta­tis­tics re­leased by the NZ Prop­erty In­vestors’ Fed­er­a­tion on Mon­day, showed Nel­son had the third high­est rental price rise of 17 cities and main ar­eas over the past year. The av­er­age cost of a rental in Nel­son rose 9.2 per cent to $382 a week, the fig­ures for the year to March re­vealed.

Rental prices in Nel­son/Tas­man re­mained static the year be­fore, the Fed­er­a­tion’s ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer An­drew King said.

He said a short­age of rental prop­er­ties was likely to be be­hind the hike in rental prices.

Rental list­ings in Nel­son fell 15 per cent in the year to March, al­though there had been an in­crease in rental list­ings of 11 per cent over the past month, fig­ures pro­vided by Trade Me re­vealed.

Cost in­creases and rule changes were po­ten­tially forc­ing rental in­vestors to pull out of Nel­son, King said.

‘‘The peo­ple who are es­tab­lished rental prop­erty providers won’t be as af­fected by some of these reg­u­la­tions as new peo­ple com­ing in. What we are find­ing is that the new peo­ple com­ing in just aren’t there.’’

Changes in the loan to value ra­tio, as well as in­creases in rates, in­sur­ance and re­pairs and main­te­nance costs in re­cent years were some of the fac­tors that had put in­vestors off, he said.

‘‘It’s get­ting harder and harder to pro­vide rental prop­erty.’’

Peo­ple were also choos­ing not to be­come land­lords be­cause of un­war­ranted neg­a­tive per­cep­tions.

‘‘They’re seen as evil peo­ple who stop first home buy­ers from be­ing able to get into the mar­ket. They’re seen as charg­ing too much in rent, and yet iron­i­cally by the fi­nance in­dus­try they’re seen as not charg­ing enough and not pay­ing enough tax.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.