Bushfires may intensify housing shortage in Victoria

JANUARY 14, 2020

The real estate peak body in Victoria is warning the bushfire crisis is likely to further impact the already tough housing market in regional Victoria.

With many homes impacted in regional Victoria, bushfire-affected residents will be turning to rental homes while their homes are rebuilt, a process that will be made harder by the ongoing rental shortage, warned the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV).

In hard hit East Gippsland and Wellington Shire, for example, the rental vacancy rate is only 0.9%, with Latrobe Valley at 1.3%. The Wodonga region has a 1.7% vacancy rate while Goulbourn Valley has 2.5% of vacant homes.

REIV President Leah Calnan said more rental homes are urgently needed. “Bushfire affected families will be turning to the rental market while they rebuild,” Leah said. “We are calling on holiday home owners in this region to consider putting your home on the rental market to help with the shortfall of rental housing and help these families find a new home.”

Leah continued, “Investors and holiday home owners are not necessarily from this area, they could be from Melbourne or across Victoria, we are calling on them to put their properties on the market and help a bush-fire affected family put a roof over their heads.”