If there's one upside to the Covid-19 pandemic, it's that a fresh supply of rental properties came on the market over the weekend.
Trade Me listings for the Taupō district show 10 new properties were listed for rental accommodation last weekend, with 20 properties listed last week and 12 listed the week before - a total of 67 rental properties available in the Taupō district.
Westerman Property Solutions director Ben Westerman said Westerman's currently have 11 vacant residential properties. He said the coronavirus pandemic could force a change in the local rental market as property investors now look to secure long-term tenants in the wake of border restrictions.
• Workplace research: Desk plants lower stress and anxiety
• 'Anything can happen': How to cope with coronavirus anxiety
• 'I didn't understand anxiety': Woman's desperate move to get through work day
• Farmers reel from stress, anxiety, depression
"The group of owners coming into the residential property market are going to have to be realistic about the price. They have been coming off nightly rates, maybe in the vicinity of $700 per week, and no-one is going to pay that."
He says the newly available Airbnb and BookaBach properties were at the high end of the rental market,
"And will only satisfy the high end of demand. The gap in the market is for residential properties where the rent costs $350 to $400 per week."
Ben says there is a trend for long-term rental properties to be professionally managed, partly due to the compliance requirements.
"There is also the issue of getting the property ticked off from the compliance point of view, home insulation has to be detailed on the tenancy agreement. You can't just turn it around without doing the compliance."
Ben said Airbnb and BookaBach had been hugely competitive for traditional accommodation providers like hotels and motels. He says a whole new set of health considerations will now come into play in the future.
"I went and stayed in an Airbnb last weekend. There was no signage about cleaning. Now all this [coronavirus] has blown up, you cannot guarantee that Airbnb or BookaBach will be as clean as a motel or hotel."
Ben says most of the properties are furnished, however Ben says the rental demand is for unfurnished homes.
As for the future of these new rental properties, Ben says his management team are working towards some sort of guarantee, for his management team and the tenants.
"We are going to get the investors to commit to a fixed term of at least one year. If things return to normality then tenants are going to want some security."