Students and young professionals should consider living on their own, as many are reassessing their housing due to a lack of three- and four-bedroom rental properties suitable for the apartment.
Hamilton’s largest property management company, Lodge City Rentals, had only 25 empty homes available for rent in January, and with the growing demand for rental housing in the city, it was becoming nearly impossible to find a three or four-bedroom home. rooms for flat.
Lodge City Rentals general manager Jason Waugh said students returning to town to study or young professionals are abandoning their ideal of living in a shared apartment with their friends and opting instead for a one-bedroom studio that sees them often live. only.
Lodge City Rentals had a total of only 75 empty properties on its books and 55 of those were studios, many of them one-bedroom. In contrast, Lodge received 3,970 inquiries about rental properties in January, one of the highest months on record.
Jason says the studio apartment segment of the market has traditionally been used by students, but many young professionals or others who would normally like to live in an apartment with other people needed to consider one bedroom studio apartments as there is no no larger rentals available.
“There is a lot of pressure in the market right now. Students are coming back, people want to move to town for work or a change of lifestyle, and there aren’t enough bigger houses for everyone,” says Jason.
“Young people need to rethink the traditional idea that you’re going to flatter with your friends,” says Jason.
He says it’s not just students and people who want to go to the apartment. Many first-time buyers were also looking for rentals.
“There are also a lot of people who would be first-time home buyers who are now in a position where they can’t get into the real estate market, so they need rentals as well,” Jason says.
He said it was “the perfect storm” and he didn’t see the problem easing anytime soon.
“It’s not surprising, but it’s just a reflection of what’s happening in the market.”
Although there has been a lot of publicity surrounding the tight rental market and the rising cost of rentals, Jason says recent suggestions to introduce rent controls as a measure to manage the problem seem to have been taken off the table. the table for now.
The government had signaled the possibility of rent control in early February, but Jason said in a recent webinar given by Minister Poto Williams, to industry, indicated that this measure was not being seriously considered at the moment.
Jason says it has been indicated that the government is set to introduce a discussion on bringing all property managers in New Zealand together under one regulator to create a level playing field.
“Most in the industry see it as a positive, but it might have limitations as it wouldn’t impact owners who were managing their own properties.”
It was also now a measure that would have a real impact on the rent shortage that plagued most of New Zealand.
“There is always the possibility of having rogue owners, but it is a good decision to move forward and bring everyone under the same umbrella to ensure that we all play by the same rules. and provide the same service,” says Jason.
The New Zealand market is particularly unregulated, and the Privacy Commission has previously said that from March it will start cracking down on errant property owners and managers who they say are making claims. questionable tenants in terms of the right to privacy.
“This will certainly help provide a consistent level of service and help tenants know what they can expect in the industry, but it will not address the immediate concern of a lack of rental properties in which people can live,” says Jason.
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