Shauni James is a Rotorua Daily Post reporter

No end in sight for rental shortage

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STRUGGLE: Citizens Advice Bureau Rotorua manager Jane Eynon-Richards says they see many clients who are struggling to find a rental property. PHOTO/BEN FRASER
STRUGGLE: Citizens Advice Bureau Rotorua manager Jane Eynon-Richards says they see many clients who are struggling to find a rental property. PHOTO/BEN FRASER

There appears to be no end in sight for Rotorua's rental shortage as demand continues to outstrip supply.

Desperate tenants searching for homes are queuing with up to 60 other people as they fight to win the few vacant rental properties on the market.

It comes as Trademe has released the latest rental price figures which show the median rental price in the city was $310 a week.

On Trademe, there are currently 83 properties listed to rent in Rotorua.

Citizens Advice Bureau Rotorua manager Jane Eynon-Richards said the organisation had people seeking advice about the rental shortage "all the time".

"I would say it would be almost daily, definitely every other day."

She said many clients had been to all the property managers and real estate agencies in town, and some have reported having to queue up with between 30 and 60 others just to see a place.

Sometimes people had been asked to move out because the landlord's family was coming back from overseas and some were being given short notice, she said.

"Some of these people are just absolutely desperate."

Mrs Eynon-Richards said it was the hardest inquiry to deal with because there were so few options.

Suggestions included staying with family, caravans and going to a backpackers, she said.

Bianca James said she had to move out of a flat on Friday as the tenancy had been terminated.

Read more:
Home owners happy as values skyrocket


She said she and her two children were currently staying in a motel - emergency accommodation provided by Work and Income.

Ms James, who works part-time as a caregiver, said she had been out searching every day and had applied for numerous properties, and had been into eight different real-estate agencies in the last three days.

"It's just a waiting game."

She said there were too many other applicants, and in her view there should be more support services and resources to help people in her situation.

LJ Hooker Rotorua director/principal Malcolm Forsyth said there was a real shortage of rental properties and his agency got a lot of inquiries each day.

"There has always been high demand for properties walking distance to town, but really it's across the board."

He said what was being seen now was part of a cycle, so it would change, but he could not say when.

Rotorua Rentals co-director Richard Evans said there was "absolutely" a shortage and it had been like that for several months.

Mr Evans said people's requirements could be difficult, such as those with a big family, two dogs or those who want to be within walking distance of a particular school because of school zoning.

He said "pretty much everything", from a two-bedroom flat in town to a five-bedroom country house, was in high demand.

Mr Evans said his agency had a $250 per week flat in the middle of town which was only on the market for 48 hours, and they were "absolutely flooded" with inquiries.

Ross Stanway chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Eves and Bayleys Real Estate, said quite a number of people were now seeing Rotorua as a place to move to, and that increased demand for rentals.

People new to the region often wanted to rent and have a look around before buying a property, he said.

He said, in some cases, tenants had to be prepared to rent something a little lower in quality then what they may have wanted.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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