Christchurch faces rental home shortage

by Catherine Harris

Canterbury’s earthquake is expected to compound a shortage of rental properties, despite reports of shocked tenants leaving town.

Property managers say the city was already experiencing a chronic shortage of accommodation for helpers and displaced tenants after the quake in September.

“Now there’s been a lot more houses [damaged] so that problem’s just escalated, so there will be a shortage,” said Martin Evans of A-1 Property Management.

Mr Evans, who is also the national president of the Property Investors Federation, said many of his tenants appeared to have understandably decamped.

“Some are traumatised, some have no water or power so they’re just going, they don’t care what we do about it.” He said people had vowed to leave for good but believed that was the human factor talking.

“A lot of people have said that under stress … I’m sure the people who have taken off will come back.”

Harcourts chief executive Hayden Duncan said there was “no indication at this stage” of an exodus of tenants and was braced for an accommodation shortage.

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