According to many city and regional-based real estate experts NSW is in the grip of a worsening rental crisis with no relief on the horizon following devastating floods in the State's north, record-high rental prices and low vacancy rates as landlords swap long-term for short-term leases.
Data from SMQ Research has determined weekly rental listings for the 2428 postcode area (Great Lakes) have fallen from a total of 125 during July 2019 to 81 at June 9, 2022. At the height of the pandemic listings fell to 31.
However, according to Ray White Forster Tuncurry senior property manager, Penny Wake that situation has begun to turn the tide.
Between November (2021) and March I would have said there was a real crisis with 20-30 people standing out the front of our office waiting to inspect a rental, Ms Wake said.
"I currently have 10 properties on the market, four suffering vacancies," she said.
"I feel like the market has softened as less people are looking for properties."
She said the bottom end of the market - two-bedroom apartments - had cooled.
"I now have five applications for a house; to me that is a normal market."
Ray White provides rentals from Taree to Hallidays Point and down to Tarbuk Bay.
Noble Realty Forster senior property manager, Sue Pearce agreed the rental market in Forster Tuncurry had begun to slow down over the past month and was returning to 'normality'.
"We have a lot more properties on our books," Ms Pearce said.
I currently have 10 properties on the market, four suffering vacancies.- Ray White Forster Tuncurry senor property manager, Penny Wake
She said there were about 73 rental properties available in the Forster Tuncurry area.
She believed the lack of rentals was due to the number of people relocating from larger cities to their holiday homes at the height of the pandemic.
"A lot of people could work from home."
"But, it forced a lot of tenants to move on and we had no-where to put them."
"Now I think a lot of people have gone home."
Further south it is a different story with R&R Property Pacific Palms licensee in charge, David Shaw describing the rental market as really tight.
"There are plenty of short term rentals but hardly any long term rentals" Mr Shaw said.
"We had one (rental property) for a day and we were inundated."
Mr Shaw said he first noticed a declined in available properties about 18 months ago during the first State-wide COVID-19 lockdown when many owners who had long-term rentals or weekenders moved to the region permanently boosting the population by 20 per cent.
At the same time many have retained their Sydney homes, while locals are not selling, he said.
"That took another house out of the equation," he said.
"This is now the new norm and I cannot see a change any time sooner."
Some experts are predicting the situation is some areas to get worse before it gets better with increasing rents on top of rising prices for food, petrol and power.
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