The number of people renting houses in Marlborough has dropped compared to last year and property managers believe the region's earthquakes are to blame.
Bayleys Marlborough property manager Rachael Smythe said the quakes had made people more reserved about moving.
"They are more comfortable staying in a home that they know, rather than going to new houses."
Many residents were still waiting for the Earthquake Commission to visit their homes, and their options were limited until that process was complete, Ms Smythe said.
"November, December and January are generally busy months with renting so we would expect to see it pick up a bit, but there are also other issues going on in Marlborough." Job cuts in the region could impact the rental market here, she said.
Mark Stevenson First National Real Estate senior property manager Mariette Knudsen said September was unusually slow for the rental market this year.
"I believe [the earthquakes] definitely did have an impact, but it's hard to know," Mrs Knudsen said.
The market was starting to pick up again after a slow September, she said.
Harcourts manager Tom Rutherford said there were more rental properties on the market for a longer period of time and for a lower rental rate.
Mr Rutherford said the drop during August had resulted in basically half the number of houses being rented, at 10 to 20 per cent cheaper than for the same time last year.
"Is it because of the earthquakes? I don't know . . . we also have the influence of recent closures of Safe Air, Annies and Barnes [construction]."
"It's a little bit indicative of the market and less people coming in," he said.
"I don't think the earthquake was underrated on what it has cost Marlborough."
Houses rented in Marlborough during August 2012 and 2013:
2013: One bedroom: 0 Two bedroom: 12 Three bedroom: 31 Four bedroom: 0
2012: One bedroom: 6 Two bedroom: 25 Three bedroom: 51 Four bedroom: 12
- The Marlborough Express