Navigating the 2024 rentals market: Limited supply, high demand and rising scams – How to protect yourself.

15 Feb 2024 The Lodge Real Estate Team

We’re well into the swing of things in the rentals sector for 2024. The Christmas period saw a very slight increase in the number of available properties for rent, but, as expected, it didn’t take long for us to return to the market we left at the end of 2023 – one of high demand and very constrained supply.

As of today, we have only 13 empty properties available. Compare this figure to the 2500+ tenant enquiries we had in January, and you can get a clear picture of the situation we continue to face in the rentals sector.

As always, we’re keeping a close eye on happenings in the industry, and there a few worth bringing to your attention this month.

Scammers on the rise

Scammers are, unfortunately, endemic in almost every industry. When we’re in a rental market as buoyant as the one we are currently in, it’s almost inevitable that people will take advantage of others for their own gain.

We are seeing a huge rise in the number of online scams targeting tenants, and some are getting increasingly sophisticated. As a result, we are urging caution among tenant and landlords, especially in a market where rentals are in short supply and tenants are feeling the pressure to secure a house.

Scammers will typically contact interested applicants via social media pretending to be property managers. In several incidents, they have been successful in obtaining money from applicants, under the guise of needing bond money immediately to secure a property for them.

Please know that we will NEVER contact you through Facebook, Instagram, or any other form of social media. They will only get in touch via their official email address, or from contact details listed on our website. They will also NEVER ask for move-in costs before you have met them.

And it’s not just tenants being targeted, we have also heard instances of private landlords being tricked by falsified application forms, in particular altering bank account details to filter money away from the landlord.

While it may be a sign of the world we live in, it’s my belief that this is where we as property managers must step in to protect our clients. At Lodge, we have the systems, and importantly, the skills to navigate these issues. Ultimately, great property management is more crucial than ever before.

Could we be seeing the return of investors?

Our sales team are reporting an increase in sales listings, which is great news for investors as we start to see increased confidence in the market.

With agents also reporting a significant lift in buyer intent, I’m confident we will start to see a slow return of investors to the market – both for new investors and those looking to add to their existing portfolio.

If this is you, I would encourage you to have a look at the areas in Hamilton currently experiencing the highest level of demand – Melville, Chartwell, Hillcrest, and Rototuna. These areas are particularly popular with people new to Hamilton, and with immigration showing no signs of slowing, these areas are worth thinking about if you’re looking for a sound rental investment.

As always, if you need help or advice regarding your next investment move, give me a bell.

Jason Waugh
General Manager
Lodge City Rentals
M 021 880 805
E [email protected]

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