TAMWORTH is a rental real estate Mecca with agents reporting they can’t get enough people to fill vacant homes.
With the city in the middle of an investment boom, local property managers are reporting an increase in rental homes on the market, with vacancy rates between two and five per cent.
The experts have put the issue down to record interest rates that have prompted locals to take the plunge into the investment market.
It’s a catch-22 for investors who are being encouraged to make their rental rates competitive, as owners battle it out for tenants.
The latest real estate figures show median rental prices in the city are $320 per week for a three bedroom home and $385 for a four-bedroom rental with the city on par with other major regional centres including Wagga Wagga, Dubbo and Maitland.
The median rental price for a four-bedroom home in Gunnedah is a little more expensive at $400 per week and Armidale at $420.
Mark Sleiman of PRD told The Leader the property market has continued to gain momentum this spring which has led to investors coming out of the woodwork to buy.
“If anything, it’s gained momentum,” he said.
“The interest rates have held at record lows for quite some time now so the market place is quite buoyant.
“Anything under $300,000 investors are snapping up – Tamworth well and truly is on the state radar.
“You can’t dump so much infrastructure in one place and not get the attention from the metropolitan areas.”
Mr Sleiman described the current situation as an “oversupply” and urged landlords to be price savvy when putting their property up for rent.
“Because there is so much investment occurring, there are naturally more rentals on the market,” he said.
“It’s increased the vacancies.
“If you’re a landlord you need to be smart about what price you put on the property as there’s a fair bit of competition out there for tenants.
“In Tamworth the average vacancy rate is five per cent, ours is at 2.4 per cent. Half of this reason is having the right conversations with our clients, and arming them with the information they need to make the right decision for their property.”
Mr Sleiman believed the news would particularly be appealing to young people looking to move out of home and were searching for the right price.
Century 21 sales agent Doug Selems echoed Mr Sleiman’s opinion and believed the rental market would speed up as the end of the year looms.
“This is a busier period for rental applications, at this time of the calendar year people are generally looking at changes in employment or moving away,” Mr Selems said.
“Places will become vacant in the next few months, there’ll be more activity in the rental market and hopefully more sales.
“We are a bit more affordable than mining areas like Gunnedah and Narrabri, you can still get a nice home over in South (Tamworth) or somewhere for $380 to $420 a week in rent.”
Mr Selems said there are now plenty of options for prospective renters, those looking had more choice and the opportunity for good prices on weekly rent.
“There’s quite a lot to choose from, which gives those people moving out of home the opportunity to secure a property,” he said.
“We’re certainly not like Sydney where there are waiting lists and a number of applications being received for one particular property.
“There are pluses and minuses, it’s an oversupply, so for investors it’s not good because they want their investments occupied.
“But it’s good for our area, it’s giving people the opportunity to rent and with the cost of living going up, if their rent can be reasonable, it helps in regards to additional money that could be spent in the town.”