With rental availability in Ballarat trending downwards, one question being asked is where are new investors?
According to some real estate agents, the problem is the state government’s new rental tenancy agreement laws.
The proposed laws, which have passed through parliament but have not yet come into effect, will allow tenants to keep a pet and make small modifications to their home.
About a quarter of Victorians rent, but many property owners have blamed the changes for their exit from the market, or choosing to use their properties for ‘short-term’ leases, such as Airbnb.
New supply may not be able to help vulnerable people seeking a place to live.
According to Ray White Ballarat director Phillip Lee, young families are looking to outer suburbs like Delacombe, Lucas, and Winter Valley, among others.
“People are looking for newer homes, (there’s) lots of demand for four bed, two bath, two living and a double garage,” he said.
“Everything’s renting overall, but they’re finding those areas more popular because they have the four bedroom homes being built in newer areas.”
The growth is being driven in part by people being priced out of Melbourne, instead choosing to move to Ballarat and commute.
It means people who live and work in Ballarat that can’t afford to buy, they’ll have to look at Clunes or Creswick
Property investor John Mitchell, who owns two houses in Ballarat, said the area was an attractive prospect, as property prices were still affordable and it was easy to find tenants.
“(People moving from Melbourne) prefer the lifestyle and good schools, but it means people who live and work in Ballarat that can’t afford to buy, they’ll have to look at Clunes or Creswick,” he said.
“They’ll have to commute, and that’ll become part of the way of thinking.”
He added the proposed residential tenancies changes needed to be more specific - some walls may have asbestos, which would make drilling a hole dangerous.
He reiterated that renting out a property to a person should go both ways.
“As an investor, you hope (tenants) treat it as home, because then they’ll stay longer,” he said.
“People just need a place to live, they’re not going in intentionally to destroy it.”
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