Tenants are getting more picky and seeking better quality, writes Teuila Fuatai
Landlords hoping to rent out sub-standard housing are unlikely to attract tenants, a Hawke's Bay letting agent warns.
The latest Trade Me quarterly analysis rental report says interest in Hawke's Bay rental properties jumped nearly 10 per cent in the last year, but asking rents edged slightly lower.
Quarterly figures show that, between January and March, the number of emails regarding local rental properties was 9 per cent higher than a year ago.
However, the number of listed properties and average rent dipped slightly, down 1 per cent for each measure year-on-year.
Property Brokers lower North Island Rental Division manager David Faulkner said Napier-Hastings rental homes were filled relatively quickly.
"For example, in Napier we're running at about 99 per cent occupancy.
The ones that don't rent are basically ones which are lower-quality properties," he said.
"Tenants are becoming far more pickier - as they should be."
About 350 Hawke's Bay rental properties are listed on the Trade Me website.
Mr Faulkner said two and three-bedroom homes were the most popular rental properties in the Bay: "About close to 50 per cent of what we rent out are three-bedroom houses."
Another 25 per cent were two-bedroom homes.
Well-insulated homes close to town also were popular, he said.
Nationally, the average asking rent in the three months to March was 3 per cent higher than the same period last year - despite weaker market interest and higher numbers of available rentals.
Brendon Skipper, head of Property at Trade Me, said investors returning to property had contributed to the overall increase in rental properties, which was up 5 per cent compared to last year, figures showed.
Low interest rates and a buoyant sales market helped lure investor buyers back, he said.
"Tenants have more choice, but landlords with well-presented and realistically priced rentals won't have problems tenanting their properties.
"While we have seen a drop in demand, there is plenty of movement and plenty of tenants wanting to find a good property."
Interest dipped slightly, with 2 per cent fewer emails from prospective tenants nationally during the three-month period, compared to a year ago.