Migrant says rent similar to London

By Kasia Jillings

Kasia Jillings and Blair Koskela with Bella and Anya.  Photo / Kellie Blizard
Kasia Jillings and Blair Koskela with Bella and Anya. Photo / Kellie Blizard

New migrants are being forced to find $150 a week more than they expected to match Auckland rental prices.

Chris Vassilas moved from London several weeks ago to work as a consultant psychiatrist at Middlemore Hospital and said he budgeted to spend $450 a week on rent.

After two weeks and around 15 viewings, Vassilas realised he will have to pay around $600 to get what he wants - an insulated apartment close to town and a train station.

A landlords.co.nz and Mike Pero Mortgages survey showed 40 per cent of landlords have increased rents in the past six months, many by up to 10 per cent.

Vassilas described Auckland prices as comparable to London and said $600 a week would make "quite a dent".

When the Herald on Sunday spoke to him at a Newmarket apartment viewing, Vassilas said the two-bedroom apartment at $560 a week was one of better places he had seen.

Harcourts Milford property manager Lizzie Simanke said landlords had increased prices in February and were expecting another increase in July.

She blamed rising rates for the rent increases.

Simanke said more affordable properties were listed and rented very quickly.

"I had 50 people through a property in Forrest Hill on Friday night because it was $415 a week and dogs were allowed."

Mrs Simanke said she had some cases where 20-year-olds were paying up to $700 a week.

"The problem is, wages aren't going up too."

Despite the survey findings, Hot Property manager Phillipa Gordon said rental prices in Ponsonby were decreasing in the quieter winter months.

"We are putting some houses down by $20 just to fill them."

KASIA JILLINGS: IT'S NOT EASY AND I KNOW IT

After four months, countless viewings and an unexpected rent rise, we found a house.

For $540 a week, my partner and I, our two flatmates and two large dogs are crammed in a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house with a serious lack of insulation.

And we're grateful. Finding a North Shore rental was a nightmare.

I frequented viewings and harassed estate agents for four months, continually told there was nothing in our price range and certainly nothing that would consider dogs.

At one Rothesay Bay viewing - a three-bedroom home listed for $675 - I joined eight families and their children to see into the bedrooms.

I showed up for another viewing at the arranged time only to be told on arrival the house had been let.

I finally found a small house in old Albany willing to take us and the dogs for $520 a week.

However, before we signed the contract I was told the rent would now be $540 because of the "extra wear and tear" on the property that four adults would cause.

Since moving in around two months ago, the kitchen has flooded thanks to a dishwasher fault, two deck boards have broken, our dog falling through one of them, and the front door lock has jammed, leaving me locked outside.

I have vowed to start saving for a home.

- APNZ

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