An increasing number of students appear to be waiting for the
start of the academic year to find accommodation, University
of Otago director of accommodation services James Lindsay
Mr Lindsay said more flats were available to students than
this time last year.
This was probably because more students were waiting until
they returned to Dunedin to find accommodation, he said.
''The volume of inquiries we have received about our office's
operating hours next month suggest many older students are
increasingly prepared to wait before they seek a flat.''
Otago University Students' Association president Francisco
Hernandez said the change was a sign its campaigning to stop
students signing up to flats too early was having an effect.
''Students should keep in mind that there are more flats than
students on the market and to take their time in choosing
''While slightly lower enrolments may be a factor, OUSA
believes our work focusing on flatting is paying off,'' Mr
Edinburgh Realty general manager Mark Miller said the student
flat market was ''definitely getting tougher''.
However, because the company had been more ''proactive'' in
trying to fill the flats it managed, it remained on track
with previous years.
The fact its landlords had taken on board advice to improve
student flats had also helped, he said.
Student flat landlord Lyndon Clayton said it was important
flat owners kept their properties up to scratch.
''If they are in good order and reasonably priced, then they
always get snapped up,'' Mr Clayton said.
He had never had a problem renting out his flats.
Mr Lindsay said demand for places at residential colleges was
at a comparable level to the corresponding time last year and
they were all full.
At November's university council meeting, vice-chancellor
Prof Harlene Hayne and chancellor John Ward both suggested
positive interest in residential colleges as a reason to be
hopeful domestic student numbers would improve this year.