An already tough regional Victorian housing market is likely to be hugely impacted by the state’s bushfire crisis, a real estate body has warned.
Leah Calnan, president of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), has noted that a lot of bushfire-affected residents will be turning to rental homes in Eastern Victorian while their homes are rebuilt.
Housing is already limited in the eastern region, the president flagged.
East Gippsland and Wellington Shire have exhibited a rental vacancy rate of just 0.9 per cent, while Latrobe Valley’s rate is 1.3 per cent, Wodonga region is sitting at 1.7 per cent, and the Goulbourn Valley has a rental vacancy rate of 2.5 per cent.
Ms Calnan made the urgent call for more rental properties, in a similar fashion to the request made by NSW minister Gareth Ward.
“As a beautiful area with a number of holiday homes”, Ms Calnan is leading the call for holiday home owners in the eastern region “to consider putting your home on the rental market to help with the shortfall of rental housing and help these families find a new home”.
She commented that it “can take months if not years for a family to rebuild their home” and those looking to stay in the community will be searching for rental properties.
“We need owners of vacant properties in this region to consider renting it out,” she stated.
“Sadly, these markets are already struggling for rental homes, so any extra homes would be greatly appreciated.”
With investors and holiday home owners not necessarily from the fire-impacted areas, “we are calling on them to put their properties on the market and help a bushfire-affected family put a roof over their heads”.
The president commented that “after surviving a bushfire, the last thing you want to be doing is taking on a long drawn-out search for a rental home”.
She noted that “extra rental homes will allow these people to stay in the communities they love”.
“Given the strong demand for rental home, properties will be leased at a rapid pace, reducing the stress for landlords.”
The call comes alongside a Victorian state government announcement that it will be providing land tax and stamp duty relief for people directly impacted by fires.