Rental market tightens across region, but homes still available

THE Northern Rivers has experienced a "substantial decline" in properties available, with vacancy figures falling 0.9% to 2.4% over the past year, the newly released REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey states.

The highest point of rental availabilities during the year was at 3.3% during October, the survey states.

But while the REINSW statistics for the Northern Rivers show vacancies have declined in the area, property manager at Wal Murray and Co First National Lismore, Sue Mitchell, said they still have a lot of vacancies in the 2480 district.

Their figure at the present time is a vacancy rate of 2.06%.

"We do have a lot of vacancies at the moment, but really that's quite normal for this time of year," Ms Mitchell said.

But, she said, they had had more vacancies than usual over the past few months. At present they can attribute a high number of vacancies due to uni students and other people leaving the area, which is usual for them.

On the other hand, she also noted that they don't have many rural properties on their books, and the least number of vacancies was in East Lismore.

However, she said, as this was a busy time of the year, it was normal for them to have quite a few properties on their books.

On the other hand, over at McGrath Estate Agents in Ballina, director Lynne Yaldwyn said the REINSW figures don't really relate what's happening in the 2478 district.

They have a vacancy rate of 0.45%.

Ms Yaldwyn said their figure has been at this level for several months now, with some weeks it even being at 0%.

For them it's a positive thing, while not so much for those trying to find a place to rent.

"It's a good time: It's wonderful for us and landlords - probably not good for tenants," Ms Yaldwyn said.

"Competition is high for quality rental properties."

When a property is listed with them, it's normal to get a lot of interest recorded and inspections lined up within 24 hours: "It's quite amazing."

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