Rents rising around city

Dunedin property owner Gaynor Corkery shows third-year University of Otago student Jess Thomson through a house in North Dunedin. The university/Maori Hill area is the most expensive place to rent in Dunedin. Photo by Dan Hutchinson.
Dunedin property owner Gaynor Corkery shows third-year University of Otago student Jess Thomson through a house in North Dunedin. The university/Maori Hill area is the most expensive place to rent in Dunedin. Photo by Dan Hutchinson.
Renters across Dunedin are paying more now than they were five years ago, with some areas showing a spike in interest for both renters and landlords.

Mean rental figures from the Ministry of Business and Innovation based on bonds lodged show rents rising right across Dunedin.

They have increased between $15 and $60 per week, depending on the area the dwellings were in.

Caversham was the cheapest area, with an average rent price of about $240 week, while the university/Maori Hill area was the most expensive, with an average price of about $370 a week.

Mosgiel was one area where rents had risen significantly. The average cost of renting a four-bedroom house in Mosgiel had risen from about $280 a week in 2009 to about $330 in 2013.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Otago spokeswoman Liz Nidd said outside of the university area, Mosgiel and the Tainui/Andersons Bay area had seen demand for rental accommodation increase.

''At our office in Mosgiel we would get at least four or five people just walking in each day looking for rental accommodation and as soon as something comes up it goes almost straight away,'' Ms Nidd said.

There was not enough accommodation to keep up with demand, which was a reason behind the rent increases in Mosgiel, she said.

One reason for the increase in demand for rental properties in Tainui and Andersons Bay could be the number of good schools in the area, Ms Nidd said.

Overall there had been a slow increase in rental prices across Dunedin for the past five years which closely followed property prices, she said.

Steven Sharp, owner of rental property managers Letting Centre, said the rental market in Dunedin had historically been steady.

''The average rental price has crept up from year to year, but we have nowhere near the increases of the markets in Auckland and Christchurch,'' Mr Sharp said.

There was always high demand for rental properties in the university area, especially at this time of year, but demand in other parts of the city varied, Mr Sharp said.

He agreed the Mosgiel and Musselburgh-Andersons Bay areas appeared to be experiencing high demand.

Otago Property Investors Association president Wendy Bowman said with tough economic times and the increased price of petrol, some property investors looked to areas with good access to public transport, amenities and areas close to the city.

For this reason areas such as Mornington, Northeast Valley, Opoho, St Kilda, Tainui and St Clair were popular.

Not all tenants were in economic difficulty and many were willing to pay good money for a higher-quality property, she said.

Kyle Elmer, owner-director of Mana Property Management, said the company focused on higher-standard properties, where rents were ''rising steadily''.

The market had become more diverse in recent years, with renters willing to pay more for renovated properties, Mr Elmer said.

There had been strong demand in St Clair-St Kilda, Mornington and Belleknowes, he said.

Third-year University of Otago environmental management student Jess Thomson (20) said good rental properties were hard to find and she had seen some ''horrible'' ones this year.

She was looking through the rental property of Gaynor Corkery yesterday.

Mrs Corkery said she was being ''fussy'' this year after tenants badly damaged the property last year.

Newsworthy?

I'm not quite sure why this is newsworthy. Why wouldn't rents have increased in a 5 year period? Everything else has and does, usually every year in fact. It's called inflation. 

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