Coro First National say the shortage of rental accommodation in Whangamata and other centres on the Coromandel is immense. Many retail shop and café owners who rely on seasonal staff cannot fill vacancies for summer jobs, as the applicants have nowhere to stay. One café owner in Whangamata employs up to 20 staff at peak times and has to resort to providing a garage full of beds at his home just to accommodate staff over Christmas/ New Year, when no rental options are available.
This shortage of rental properties has been fuelled by property owners selling off their rental investments over the last four years. Most local property management companies have had their rental pools halved during this time. On a quick mental estimate, this is around 200-300 fewer homes available for residential letting removed from the general pool. This is having a huge flow on effect not only on retailers but for builders, plumbers and electricians trying to source tradespeople for ongoing building projects.
Coro First National are seeing good families who become displaced not being able to find another property to rent and therefore are forced to leave the area. The recent legislation on insulation has also been a part of this problem, with many investment property owners opting out by selling off the property.
Overall, rents in Whangamata will need to rise in order to stem this flow of evaporating rental accommodation. If rental property was a better investment in Whangamata and Tairua then perhaps property owners wouldn’t be tempted with the short term gain of selling up. Governmental changes have played a big hand in this evolving problem, which Coro First National’s Gordon Turner sees worsening every month, with no end in sight.