Prospective tenants are feeling the effects of a rental shortage in the region.RENEE THOMPSON February 28, 2014 4:13am
We spoke to renters, real estate agents and a landlord to take the temperature of the local rental market after a report on rental affordability and availability showed there was a tightening across regional Victoria.
A tightening rental market: report
A new Tenants Union of Victoria report on rental affordability and availability rates, released on Monday, said rental affordability was less critical in regional cities but found the regional vacancy rate for private rentals was only 2.7 per cent — lower than the metropolitan rate.
The report said the lower regional vacancy rate represented a ‘‘tighter, more competitive market’’ and demonstrated ‘‘the greater difficulty for low-income households to secure affordable housing’’.
Expensive, hard to come by: renters
Single mum Natalie* and her three children have been forced into living week-to-week at a Moama resort since the start of the year while they try to find a place to rent.
‘‘If we didn’t have that, we’d be facing relocation or homelessness,’’ she said.
Natalie said the fact she had to consider relocating somewhere else was not good for the town either.
‘‘For local sustainability, we need people to stay in this town,’’ she said.
‘‘I don’t see expensive investment properties with high rents as sustainable.’’
*Not real name
High demand, low supply: real estate agents
Real estate agents across Echuca-Moama overwhelmingly agree it is a tough time for prospective tenants trying to find a suitable place to rent.
Elders property manager Nataleigh Percy said demand for houses was strong.
‘‘We’re seeing 20-plus applications for three bedroom houses,’’ she said.
‘‘Also, because we’re a popular tourist spot, people are coming here and love it, decide to make a tree change then want to rent for a while before buying.’’
Good tenants: landlord
Echuca-Moama landlord Handel Aubrey said finding good tenants in the current rental market was easy.
‘‘If you get a reputable real estate agent they do the work and recommend good tenants,’’ he said.
‘‘Every property has a market value and that reflects what the rental should be.’’
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