Rental prices soar

Stuff reports something that we all already knew. Rentals are going through the roof. The government cannot provide enough state houses (currently about 6,000 people are on waiting lists) and, in the meantime, these people have to live somewhere. Add to that the landlord bashing policies of the government and, as a result, landlords are selling up in droves. It is a vicious cycle that becomes more vicious by the day. quote:

Whangarei woman Evelyn Sutherland has lived in her rented home in the central city for the past three years.

In that time the rent has risen 15 per cent.

But Sutherland has experienced a small rent increase, compared to the rest of Northland. Trade Me data shows Northland’s advertised rent is up 43 per cent since 2013. end quote.

Well, it is 5 years. But rents never increased like this in the past. quote.

Another Whangarei woman, Jenny Hamilton, said she had been left homeless for six weeks last year when she was given 42 days’ notice to leave a property because it was sold – but couldn’t find another place to live in time. “It ended up me and the kids bunking in with another family. There just aren’t the houses out there. Rents are rising, pushing them out of reach.” end quote.

Landlords are selling up, making the situation worse. quote.

Since 2013, rents have risen 25 per cent in Auckland, 33 per cent in Wellington and 32 per cent in Waikato.

But some of the fastest rises happened in the regions -?rents were up 45 per cent in Otago?and 48 per cent in Bay of Plenty.

Only in Christchurch has the situation got better – there?rents are down 2 per cent. In Gisborne, they haven’t moved.

“The regions neighbouring Auckland, such as Bay of Plenty and Northland, have experienced a big boost in median weekly rent as Kiwis in the Super City look further afield for cheaper rent,” he said.

“Wages haven’t keep up [sic] with rising rents which has meant rental affordability is continuing to decline.

“To some extent this a symptom of our own success. New Zealand is a very popular place to live and work compared to many parts of the world and these increases are tightly correlated to our growing population.? Unless the supply of rental accommodation increases we can expect rental prices to continue to charge on.” end quote.

‘Unless the supply of rental accommodation increases…’ Virtually all the houses being built at the moment are for owner-occupiers. Yes, some of those are currently renting, which may ease the rental market a bit. But, with the purchase of a new home requiring a deposit of $100,000 or more in most places, many people are simply locked out of the housing market. Landlords have been selling up in droves, while there are few new landlords coming into the market because the government’s policies favour tenants so heavily.

Imagine paying $600,000 for a rental property that you cannot stop a tenant’s pitbull from wrecking. That is how bad things are for landlords these days.

There is no quick or easy fix to this situation. Rents are outstripping wage increases by a country mile. Until the government revisits its landlord bashing policies – which it won’t, by the way – life is going to get harder and harder for tenants.