Ballarat’s rental market has become fiercely competitive, as minuscule vacancies have locals being turned away time and time again when looking for their first home.
Recent data from the Real Estate Industry of Victoria suggests cash-splashed first home buyers may be to blame, as they seek cheaper housing and rental prices outside of Melbourne.
Hocking Stewart’s head of property management Lachlain Ramsay spoke about changes he had noticed regarding to tenant type, saying there were “more ‘out of area’ investors active in the Ballarat market.”
Phillip Lee, director of residential, rural, and commercial sales for Ray White, spoke of similarly about the recent influx of out of town investors.
“The are lots of out of town investors buying rental properties at the moment so it may simply be Ballarat is growing and more people are requiring rental properties,” Mr Lee said.
The data from Real Estate Industry of Victoria shows that rental vacancies have dropped nearly 2 per cent over the past two years, creating a high demand for adequate housing.
“The last time the vacancy rates were this low was in 2011,” Mr Lee said.
“We are experiencing strong rental inquiry and our office vacancy rate today is a very low 0.4 per cent.”
These sentiments were echoed from Nathan Barker of Ballarat Property Group.
“We have been below 1 per cent vacancy for over a year, currently sitting at 0.33 per cent,” Mr Barker said.
These record low rates of vacancies may be good for the real estate agencies, but it is causing stress for Ballarat residents looking for a property, as they traverse the vastly overpopulated market.