Dunedin property owners are cashing in on a Rugby World Cup accommodation shortage in the city, with homes fetching up to $600 a night.

A crunch on available commercial rooms has led to some residents advertising their homes on third-party websites; the properties being promptly snapped up by fans.

Earlier this month, Dunedin Visitor Centre manager Louise van de Vlierd said visitors booking at the last minute could not expect to find centrally-located commercial rooms, with private residences likely to cater for extra demand.

One of those working with the visitor centre was Nelson-based company 80 Minute Game Ltd, which worked to match private residences with visitors, managing director Sue Robinson said.

As part of its service, the company inspected properties, screened guests, offered to meet them on arrival, and would clean the homes at least once a week.

Dunedinites had been a bit slow to realise the opportunities around private residences, but the visitor centre, which was co-ordinating accommodation, had rightly focused first on filling commercial premises, she said.

"We haven't actively pushed the Dunedin market because we haven't wanted to get owners' expectations up.

"One of the problems we have in Auckland and Wellington is that the owners' price expectation is massive ... They all want six-week bookings, but the reality is that there are none any more."

Homeowners ultimately determined the price of their property, with one eight-bedroom home going for $600 a night and booked for 10 days in September, Mrs Robinson said.

"I am quite outspoken on the whole price-gouging issue, but where you have a house that might be $400 a night and sleeps eight then that is only $50 per person, which is cheaper than a hotel."

Dunedin residents who had rented their properties were going to their holiday homes or even overseas during the busy periods of the tournament, but she warned it was not just easy money.

"There is work involved - they have to clean out wardrobes - but the money is not bad," she said.

Booking inquiries included those from overseas media companies wanting to base themselves in the city for up to four weeks, and which were paying up to $400 a night.

With commercial accommodation set to be fully booked in the coming weeks, the company would even use contractors to find suitable homes to cater for demand.

To be suitable homes needed to be within 20 minutes of Dunedin, warm and preferably with three or more bedrooms and several bathrooms.