Christchurch quake refugees are contributing to increased activity in the Queenstown residential tenancy market.
Executive Accommodation boss Keith Hibbs says rental business is “absolutely flat out”.
“Our letting agent, who does the showings, has been full for the last two weeks.
“Last Monday, our stairway was full with people.”
Queenstown Accommodation Centre manager Allan Baillie reports he only has 30 per cent of the numbers of properties he’d normally have.
“The early [ski season] arrivers are getting a bit of a shock about how little there is to rent,” Baillie says.
Hoamz rental manager Megan Cowie says the rental market took off about the time of last month’s devastating Christchurch earthquake.
Christchurch people are “pretty much taking anything on from three to six months”.
Baillie adds: “I think a lot who came had or knew people with holiday homes down here and brought their kids.
“You might see more permanent people moving in once they realise things might be a bit desperate for a bit longer up there.”
Resort Property Rentals’ Doug MacGillivray reports an enquiry from someone who’d shifted to Christchurch and is now wanting to come back.
“I’ve had one person who’d had their business in the [out-of-bounds] CBD and is going to run it from here.”
On top of enquiries from Christchurch people, Housemart’s Hayley Stevenson also heard last Friday from a Kiwi looking to relocate here from quake-stricken Japan.
Cowie says people shifting here to work at the two Hilton hotels opening in May will also soak up rental stock.
“I understand some management companies have been saying the rents are going to go through the roof because of the earthquake, which is very unfair.”
That’s not a comment supported by other agents spoken to by Mountain Scene.
Baillie, noting that rental levels are about 15 to 20 per cent back from 2007-08, says: “Our prediction is [increased activity] will put pressure on the rental market.”
Landlords facing GST and other cost increases are “asking for a bit more for the first time in a while”, he says.
Executive’s Hibbs adds: “You’ve got to try to get an extra $10 or $15 or $20 a week, just to help landlords cover some costs.”
Last week’s On the Hunt properties were mistakenly attributed to Hoamz – they were actually Ray White listings.