PROSPECTIVE tenants are facing queues as long as 30 people for homes in Geelong this year.
Geelong tenants are facing a tough market as demand outweighs supply and rents rise to catch high house prices recorded in the past year.
But it hasn’t deterred tenants as property managers report some offering to pay more to find a place to live.
RELATED: Why million dollar sales are more common in Geelong
Leading property valuer says Geelong is set to outperform Melbourne market
Why Geelong, Surf Coast home sellers are among the nation’s happiest
Median advertised rents have risen 15 per cent in some suburbs this year, CoreLogic data shows.
Houses in Rippleside and South Geelong rose 15.4 per cent and 15.1 per cent respectively, taking rents to $450 and $420 a week.
Over five years, rents for units in North Geelong and Lara rose up to 28 per cent.
West End Real Estate, senior property manager Marie Washington said the rental market’s peak season had just ended and multiple groups were still applying for properties.
“It doesn’t really ease off as there are so many people coming to the area for work,” she said.
“A lot are building their dream home and need somewhere to live as building is always longer than they expect.
“They want something close to the CBD and infrastructure so Geelong, Geelong West, Newtown, East Geelong. Armstrong Creek is really popular to.”
The crowds at open homes do overwhelm some applicants, Ms Washington said.
“You find a lot of people freak out but you need to explain there’s a process and they need to be prepared.”
Gartland Property’s Tamara Harris said adding a covering letter helped landlords get to know applicants personally.
“The application process is very black and white, a covering letter will give us a bit of background so when the landlord asks who they are, we will have feedback,” she said.
Colleague Emily Reid said they had 30 groups at inspections during the peak season.
“We had a property listed for $400 a week and had an offer of $440 a week and they checked out fine and had good rental history, it was a great outcome for the landlord as they had just purchased the property.”
But offering more money doesn’t guarantee a tenant was most suitable, she said.
Facing the crowds was disheartening for a group of friends looking for a home together.
Bec Pearce said they recently ended a three-month search, inspecting 30 and applying for roughly 20 houses, before finding a four-bedroom house in Grovedale.
“At most inspections there was a huge line of people. When we saw the people we automatically thought we wouldn’t get it,” she said.
“There’s a lot of competition for houses in the Geelong area and we saw a lot of the same people at the same inspections as us.”
Ms Pearce said it was tough having multiple applications rejected.
But they formed a relationship with a property manager at an inspection who understood their situation and helped get their foot in the door.
“We applied for one house with West End Real Estate and didn’t quite get that, but by keeping in contact with an agent, they notified us as soon as a house came on the market and because we had already applied through them we were able to get our application in quickly,” she said.
“As a young group, it was challenging to stand out from families and older couples who may have been through the process a lot before.”
GEELONG’S MOST EXPENSIVE RENTAL SUBURBS
|Suburb||Property type||Median weekly advertised rent||Rental change (5 years)||Median value|
Median advertised weekly rents, rise in 5 years to end of January, 2019. Source: CoreLogic