Auckland’s Property Market Experiencing Student Accommodations Shortage

If you are sending your kids to a university in Auckland, be prepared to face some tough challenges when finding accommodations for them. According to reports, Auckland’s booming property market is running out of student accommodations. As a matter of fact, at one inner-city property this week, up to 150 desperate renters queued up an open home for hours just to make sure that they or their children will have a nice place to stay in while studying.

Experts said the worsening shortage is a clear indication of rising home values in suburbs such as Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Mr Eden, and Epsom. Students are having a hard time finding properties they can rent because many of the rental properties in these areas have become too valuable to be offered as student flats. Also, many of these properties have become family homes, thus, greatly reducing the number of available rentals for the city’s 40,000-strong student population.

As a result, dozens of anxious parents are calling property management companies and even turning up to open homes in huge numbers just to make sure their children will have a roof over their head once the classes at the University of Auckland and AUT resume in about four weeks. Some students are also providing CV-like applications with photos and cover letters. Others even offered extra cash just to secure a rental property.

A four-bedroom Bellevue Rd flat in Mt Eden, which has an asking rent of $650, attracted about 150 prospective tenants and over 40 formal applications. Darryl Goode, director of Good Rentals, said the attention the property has garnered was unexpected. He added that there are some people who even offered to rent the property without looking at it first.

“I’ve been doing it for 15 years and this is the biggest [turnout] ever. The sad thing is there’s only going to be one winner. Where are all these people going to go?” he said.

Paul Smith, president of Auckland University Students’ Association, said finding student accommodations this year have become more difficult than before. Because of this, many students are choosing to stay at home longer. And while the association acknowledges that finding student flats is indeed tougher this year, Smith admits that there is little the association could to help the students.

“It’s going to be tough. All you can do is start looking early, stay in the game and do your best,” he said.