Homeowners making a last-minute decision to use their houses as a money-spinner during the Rugby World Cup are being told by one website that they're too late.
With fewer than 30 days until the big kick-off, a company that manages the rental of homes to Cup visitors, 80 Minute Game, has stopped taking new listings.
Director Sue Robinson said people who were serious about renting out their homes had made a listing at least three months ago.
"There are people who want the certainty, and are coming in and saying we want a six-week booking, we want a long booking. But they are not there any more.
"We are expecting last-minute guests, but I think from a homeowner's perspective it's a little bit knee-jerk at this point."
Mrs Robinson said about 90 per cent of properties listed in central Auckland had been booked during the finals period.
The company has helped more than 3000 guests find accommodation. But some homeowners had to be persuaded to drop unrealistic asking prices.
"We have had properties listed on the website that were well overpriced. We knew it, we told the owners that.
"We have had some ridiculous prices thrown at us ... but this isn't an opportunity to get rich, we've always said you need to be realistic."
A typical price for a three or four bedroom home with two bathrooms in central Auckland was $400 or $500 a night. Homeowners with a booking over the finals periods were now dropping their rates during the pool matches to entice visitors.
Luxury Rentals 2011 has about 100 Auckland properties listed for rent during the Cup, about a quarter of which were listed in the $2000-plus a night category.
Co-director Kerrin Parton would say only that a "majority" of properties had taken bookings.
"We were always a small niche market, we're at the high end of the market, and we always wanted to be fairly small. We're really happy where we are."
Other websites have reported an increase in demand as the tournament approaches.
Stay2011.com director Cameron Macneil said demand had surged as New Zealanders and Australians started to look for accommodation, and the website was taking new listings. "Especially with the New Zealanders, we leave everything to the last minute ... yesterday we had six new listings."
Mr Macneil said about 70 per cent of the 180 central Auckland properties listed had a booking of some duration.By Nicholas Jones Email Nicholas