Auckland’s booming property market is running out of student accommodation.
At one inner-city property this week, up to 150 desperate renters queued up at an open home.
Experts say the worsening shortage reflects soaring house values in suburbs such as Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Mt Eden and Epsom, with many former rentals too valuable to be offered as student flats.
Parents anxious to find accommodation for their children are calling property management companies and even turning up to open homes. But with thousands of students battling for fewer properties, many are dossing with parents or being forced into cheaper outlying areas.
Property Investors Federation executive officer Andrew King said landlords – many nearing retirement age – sitting on $1.5 million to $2 million properties were choosing to sell up and cash in on the buoyant market rather than settle for rental returns on their investments.
Many of the properties are becoming family homes, reducing the number of available rentals for Auckland’s 40,000-strong student population.
With University of Auckland and AUT classes set to begin in about four weeks, competition has become cut-throat for centrally located, well-priced accommodation.
A four-bedroom Bellevue Rd flat in Mt Eden with an asking rent of $650 attracted about 150 prospective tenants on Thursday and over 40 formal applications. They included a second-year bachelor of science student who has looked at 16 flats in the past fortnight.