Rental property in demand

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 05:00 11/07/2014
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A big squeeze has gone on the rental property market in Timaru.

Properties being advertised are being snapped up, with one listing receiving more than 800 internet site viewings in four days.

The same property prompted text and phone call enquiries within half an hour of being listed.

LJ Hooker Timaru property manager Lesley Groundwater said there were two main reasons why few rental properties were available in South Canterbury.

There had been an increase in people moving to the area for work, and a lot of rental properties had been sold recently, Groundwater said.

The property market had risen again after a dip causing a decrease in values, she said.

"A lot of investors bought them at the peak of the market. It's taken a long time for it to catch up" and make it worthwhile selling, she said.

Timaru Rentals owner Michelle Kelly agreed there were not many rentals available on the market at the moment.

However, there were not many people wanting to take the high end rentals, she said.

"The cheaper properties are being snapped up. The $330-plus [per week] price bracket are staying put," she said.

Rental property owner Donna O'Shea recently listed her property for lease.

"We placed the ad on Trademe on Saturday and by Tuesday we pulled the listing down. It had been viewed over 800 times in four days," she said.

O'Shea had been approached by people from out of town who had not even seen the property and wanted to apply for it online.

"I felt for a lady who was near the top of my list who had done that [when she first moved here]. A landlord had told her it was a great house in a great street."

However, it was not in a good street, she said.

O'Shea said the woman's partner had been transferred to Timaru and she was heavily pregnant so could not spend time looking.

"There are so many sad stories out there at the moment. Families living in one-bedroom places, mouldy places, landlords not fixing the places.

"I'm glad I'm not renting at the moment," she said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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