Renters reap rewards as bubble bursts

SAVVY renters are refusing to pay what they did 18 months ago with many demanding a reduction in their rent or threatening to move out.

Orange Real Estate director John Bradford said renters were astute and kept an eye on rental rates in Orange.

“There was a shortage of rental properties about 12 to 18 months ago and prices were higher, but now they’ve become more realistic,” he said.

Mr Bradford says it is now possible to rent a good four-bedroom property for $400 a week, with the same house previously renting for around $450 or $470.

He said some tenants had noticed a shift in the rental market and had asked for a reduction in their rents.

“Whether they get a rent reduction or not is another thing,” he said.

Builder/investor Kevin Wright, who owns several rental properties in Orange, confirmed rental prices had dropped in recent months and the “bubble had burst”.

“A lot of units were too high anyway and now there’s also an abundance of them,” he said.

“Once there are that many new units on the market landlords have to drop the price and get what they can.”

Mr Wright said he tried to keep long-term tenants happy by ensuring rents remained reasonable and it seemed to work as none of his properties were vacant.

“I’ve dropped the rent on a couple of two bedroom properties by $10 to $15 a week,” he said.

“I think it’s the more high-end properties that will suffer the most. Hopefully they won’t come down too much further.”

Mr Wright said future rental prices would also be impacted by what happened when Electrolux closed in 2016.

He said job cuts at the factory and the flow-on effect for contractors may impact rental prices in the future.

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