A combination of factors, including declining student
numbers, is making it more difficult for Dunedin landlords to
fill student flats.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Dunedin spokeswoman and
Nidd Realty managing director Liz Nidd said there were more
empty student flats on the company's books than last year -
and more stressed landlords hunting for tenants.
It was difficult to pinpoint why demand was lower, but
probable factors included extra capacity at residential
colleges, declining student numbers and more students waiting
until the start of the academic year to seek flats, Mrs Nidd
This made it tougher for landlords with student flats.
''It is harder for those landlords, because they have got
less security of the knowledge that they have got a tenancy
signed up for the coming year.''
Along with the decreased demand, students also expected more
''They want to know that a place is insulated, they want to
know that it's appropriately heated.
''It's generally the less presentable [flats], or the ones
where the owners are hanging out for too much rent [that are
not being leased].
''It's a bit like residential sales. Everything will sell, at
It was ''too early'' to say whether declining numbers at the
University of Otago would result in reduced prices for
rentals in the student area.
Otago University director of accommodation services James
Lindsay said the trend of more students waiting for the start
of the academic year to find flats appeared to be continuing
Competition for places in residential colleges was up on last
year, there was enough demand to fill the university's new Te
Rangi Hiroa College, in the former LivingSpace hotel in
Castle St, and increased capacity at other colleges.
There were slightly fewer flats on the Otago University
accommodation website than at this time last year, but that
was possibly due to landlords advising the university flats
had been rented earlier than in previous years.