Renters in the Kaipara region are not only struggling to find rentals but some say they are struggling to afford them with prices having risen 45 per cent in the past five years.
Trade Me data shows that in 2014 the median weekly rent was $275 per week, it is now sitting at $400 per week, an increase of $125 every week, across the year this equates to an increase of $6500.
Millie Silvester, communications adviser for Trade Me, said of particular interest was the fact rents reached a record high of $460 pw in the lead-up to Christmas last year, although this has settled back to $400 as of May.
One region in particular that has been hit hard by rent increases is Dargaville with many renters living there struggling just to find a place.
Dargaville resident Theresa Allatt said a lack of rentals is a major problem.
"My daughter was looking for a house for her and her 6-year-old child and it took them a year-and-a-half to find something."
Linda Evans grew up in Dargaville and has never seen the situation so bad.
"I am horrified by the rent increases with some paying up to $400 a week for a two-bedroom home and only offering a carport and no lock-up garage."
Evans, a long-time renter, said she is fortunate that she has a good track record, but she said she knows lots of people who are struggling and it's hard in a town like Dargaville.
"It's affecting young families and people on low incomes. I don't think it's totally fair because Dargaville has limited employment opportunities."
Another renter and mum-of-two, Alison Leigh, said the booming housing market has seen her move house five times in five years as one by one the properties they were in sold.
"This resulted with my kids and I living in the local holiday park temporarily, which was very stressful."
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"However, long story short, we found a wonderful private rental, but that's a very rare thing for most in Dargaville at the moment."
Jean Johnson Realty property and administration's Lee Cocurullo said they are not seeing the investment buyers coming into the market like they used to.
"It's got to be an attractive return for them. Investors run property like a business, if they're not making that yield then they look elsewhere.
"What we need to see is more affordable housing and more housing development."
Cocurullo said the Kaipara District Council might want to loosen up the red tape for developments to come back in, so more housing can built here.
"We do have a shortage and long list of people looking for properties. From a one day viewing we get somewhere between 15-20 applications that come in.
"It's very difficult for us to pick or choose as everyone is deserving. So I can totally sympathise with people because there isn't enough housing."
Furthermore Cocurullo said council rates in the region are quite high compared to elsewhere.
"I'm pretty sure they're higher than Whangārei and I'm pretty sure, they're even higher than some parts of Auckland, so that's an issue for investors."
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Short film competition back
Budding movie directors get your cameras rolling as entries are now open for this year's Northland Short Film competition.
Northland Short Film Competition (NSFC) organiser Eryn Wilson Collins said $3000 worth of prizes are up for grabs.
"This year has the same three categories, but we have extended the primary section to be primary and intermediate, just to help clarify the ages."
The three categories are open, primary plus intermediate and secondary.
"We also have a big emphasis on making sure entries obtain royalties for any copyrighted work they use in their films, like music. Otherwise it's all pretty much the same as previous years."
Even those who don't own a camera won't have to miss out, said Wilson Collins, as the Anzac Theatre in Dargaville has one available to loan to those that need it.
"Right now we just want to get the word out that it is on again this year, get entry forms out far and wide and encourage people to get creative and get involved.
Entries close September 30. Finalists will see their work on the big screen at the Anzac Theatre at a date yet to be decided.
Entry forms and further info are available on the Anzac theatre's website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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