WHEN it comes to renting a house in Bathurst, tenants are paying $30 more a week than they were five years ago.
The information was released as part of the Domain Rental Report for the December 2018 quarter, which shows how median rental prices have changed in a number of cities.
In terms of regional centres, Bathurst comes in equal second behind Orange for the most expensive rental asking price.
The median cost to rent a home in Orange is $370 a week, with Bathurst and Dubbo both having a median of $350.
The data also shows that Orange has the most expensive weekly median rental costs for units at $265, compared to $252.50 in Bathurst and Dubbo.
Century 21 Bathurst operations manager Bec Jensen said Orange’s reputation as an investment hot-spot was likely why its rental median was higher than Bathurst’s.
“Orange has seen strong and consistent growth over the past 12 months and has had lots of media coverage noting it as a hot-spot, which appeals to investors as well as tenants,” she said.
“I believe this will have been a major contributing factor to the higher median prices we have seen in Orange.”
The median rental price for houses in Bathurst rose by $10 over the 12 months between December 2017 and 2018, while it fell slightly for units.
Ms Jensen said there had been much more demand for houses in 2018, with tenants looking for more space and wanting to have pets.
She also said that 2018 was a year with a lot of demand for rentals overall.
“We found the demand to be quite high throughout the year, even during the cooler months where we usually see it slow down a little,” Ms Jensen said.
“We experienced our lowest vacancy rate in history throughout 2018, with periods sitting under one per cent vacancy.
“I also believe the banking sector has led to people remaining in tenancies for longer due to it being difficult to borrow money at this time.”
Last November, the Royal Commission into Banking was one of the factors agents believed to have led to a slowing down of the Bathurst market.
In an article published in the Western Advocate earlier this week, one agent said that the banks, along with the upcoming election, would continue to play a role in Bathurst’s property market in 2019.
Professionals Real Estate agent Mark Sullivan has also said that rental prices could be affected due to the uncertainty over negative gearing.
“If the Labor Party comes in and they do indeed wind back negative gearing, what they may do is force literally hundreds of thousands of landlords to increase their rent because they are not going to get the same tax reductions that they once received,” he said.
Ms Jensen said that there are around 180 Bathurst properties being advertised as rentals currently, so it was a good time for tenants to look for a property.