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Investors needed fast to ease Bathurst rental crisis

Media Release

May 13, 2010

Investors needed fast to ease Bathurst rental crisis

Contract workers and students are pushing the demand for rental properties in Bathurst, with a leading local real estate proprietor saying investors are needed to help ease the shortage.

Raine and Horne Bathurst proprietor Mathew Clifton said Bathurst had a high demand for executive style, three to four bedroom rental properties because of the region's large number of contract workers.

Workers such as teachers and public servants were attracted to employment opportunities in the central west city, which is recognised as a learning centre of excellence. But unfortunately it was getting harder to find good quality housing.

Mr Clifton attributed the rental shortage to the fact that investors left the market when yields dropped. 

"Prices rose by up to 30 per cent but rents stayed the same. Rents were unable to keep pace with such a huge price hike," Mr Clifton said. 

"Right now we're seeing massive demand for rental property and for the first time in a long while, we're receiving multiple applications for the same property.

"It's putting huge pressure on the rental market, with a vacancy rate running at just two per cent. When a good property comes on the market it's snapped up quickly," he said.

It's not just workers in Bathurst who are finding it difficult to secure good rental properties. Students are struggling to find suitable accommodation too. 

Following the same trend as other university towns, Bathurst's students are keeping their rental property over the summer, when they would normally leave.

"The majority of students would typically vacate their accommodation at the end of the university year and start looking again in January. But now we're seeing more students rolling over their accommodation into the following year."

With high demand for rental properties and a significant drop in interest rates, Mr Clifton said the time was perfect for investors to re-enter the market. 

Raine & Horne CEO Angus Raine suspects investors were spooked by the financial downturn, but predicts investors will slowly be lured back into the market over the next six months as rents increase by five per cent, possibly more in some cases. 

"It won't happen overnight but when you have multiple people apply for the same property you have demand outstripping supply, so something has to give, Mr Raine said.

"The fundamentals for property investment are good. This includes historically low interest rates, high rental yields and a faltering share market."

Raine & Horne Bathurst's professional and experienced team can help you realise your goals in all areas of real estate, including residential and commercial sales and management. 

For all your property needs contact Raine & Horne Bathurst (02) 6331 6555.

For further media information contact Mathew Clifton, Raine & Horne Bathurst on 0414 011 117.