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Discerning renters put the squeeze on supply of Hamilton rental properties

Discerning renters put the squeeze on supply of Hamilton rental properties

Lodge City Rentals General Manager, David Kneebone, says there's been a noticeable shift in Hamilton's rental market with the city's renters now prioritising quality over price.

"For years Hamilton renters have typically had a value conscious mind set. When choosing a rental property, most renters were looking for the best deal within their chosen suburb. The quality of the rental property was a secondary consideration.

"However, we've seen a considerable shift since the start of the year. Hamilton renters are much more discerning – they want a warm, dry home with modern conveniences. They won't live cheap," explained Mr Kneebone.

Following this quality-conscious trend, he says the city's renters are also willing to pay.

"The renters we are working with are realistic. They understand that quality comes with a price tag and they are willing to pay a fair market value. This is particularly true in the Northeastern suburbs where the median weekly rental for a four bedroom home has risen from around $460 per week one year ago to around $500 currently – an 8.7% rise," said Mr Kneebone.

Despite property investors being very active in the Hamilton market and more homes coming into the rental pool, available properties are at record low levels.

"City-wide, 98.7% of our available rental properties are currently leased. The properties that are vacant tend to be lower quality homes," explained Mr Kneebone.

He said the shift in renter behaviour posed an opportunity to the city's property investors.

"Investors with older properties will certainly profit from upgrades in insulation, heating and quality fixtures. Investors can expect increased yields to outpace the level of investment into such upgrades."

Lodge City Rentals is Hamilton city's largest rental property management firm with over 3400 of the city's homes available for rent listed in its portfolio.