Trying to buy a home? Thought about trying to rent one?

Trying to buy a home? Thought about trying to rent one?

07 Sep 2016

We’ve all seen the multitude of articles in the media every day on the property crisis here in Auckland. Usually, every article mentions the concerns about house prices for First Home Buyers, the threat of Property Investors. However, what rarely makes the headlines in this soaring property market is the little guy, the renter. Just as the First Home Buyers have been locked out of the housing market, we’re also being priced out of the rental market, as the difficulty of finding a rental property in Auckland continues to rise.


Living in Auckland for four years now I have gained my fair share of renting experiences. The good, the bad and the very ugly. Auckland’s property market has everyone in a frenzy, and you only need to look at the price of a house in the central suburbs of Auckland to understand why. Especially if you want to rent a house in a nice suburb close to central Auckland, you'd better be prepared to pay a premium for the privilege.


My first taste of an Auckland rental was on a university budget, we were young and clueless and found ourselves signing a tenancy agreement to a place that would soon be nicknamed the Mould Pit. We were each paying $170.00 per week for a room in a six-bedroom place in central Mount Eden and at the time we thought we had hit the jackpot. We quickly realised this price was a reflection of the condition of the house, it had no sunlight, it was leaky and damp, and had a serious issue with mould but as it was the only thing in our price range that allowed us an easy 20 minutes walk to university and access to public transport, we had to live with what we could afford.


By the time we decided to try for our second place we were prepared to be more competitive and were more educated in the Auckland property market. That feeling of confidence and excitement of finding a proper home after suffering through our first tenancy contract was soon diminished. I quickly found myself very panicky about having to find somewhere new to rent after each listing we visited was attracting hundreds of wannabe tenants during the peak season of house hunting at the beginning of the New Year. There were people offering to pay top dollar to bump the rent higher than what we could afford.


Recently this year I found myself once again, looking for a new rental, and as we were a new group of young professionals we now hoped for a better opportunity that what we ever had as university students. However, over the few months of looking, I had been to more than three dozen viewings landing myself in the same position as before.


Viewing after viewing, application after application, your spirits will sink low. Finding a rental is like applying for jobs: you're excited and hopeful in the beginning, but come week three of rejections you think there's something seriously undesirable about you. Rental-hunting depression is also fuelled by the sheer lack of decent houses out there - those you'd never thought you'd live in, but now, somehow, are actually considering. The modern generation has experienced a very tough economic adulthood. We graduated from university, only to arrive at a financial crisis that crippled our post-graduation dreams, I can only imagine what may come when I reach the first home buyer status.

AUTHOR: Maria Veitch

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