The Hunter Region of NSW is the latest victim to the nation’s housing shortage, as tight rental vacancies put pressure on agents and tenants.
The region has seen a surge in population in recent years on the back of the resources boom and a $1.7 billion investment in infrastructure, creating hundreds of jobs for both local and new residents.
But new housing can't be built quick enough.
Due to the economic growth in the Hunter, the lack of housing for current and potential employees is distressing, LJ Hooker Maitland’s Todd Fisher said.
"I feel sorry for tenants as there is a one per cent vacancy rate. It is not unusual for us to have 50 plus people at an open house. It is unbelievable," Mr Fisher said.
"The mining industry is bringing in a lot of new blood especially from Western Australia, Queensland and New Zealand,” he said.
The pressure has also been felt by John Boyle of John Boyle Real Estate in Muswellbrook, who says he is struggling to meet the demand for rental properties.
"We have only six homes for rent at the moment. Before the homes are completed, they have been rented. We need the developers to get a move on and finish their developments," Mr Boyle said.
Property developers have also been quick to tell their clients of the Hunter’s growth potential.
Property Bloom director Jo Chivers has been developing property for clients in the Hunter Region for nine years and has watched the area develop.
“The Hunter Region is seeing a lot of growth at the moment,” Ms Chivers said.
“With the $1.7billion freeway link currently under construction, two new large supermarkets opening bringing more employment to the region, the ongoing concerts in the Hunter Valley along with the fabulous wine grown and exported all over the world, it's no surprise the Hunter's growth rate has been recorded as the largest increase of any NSW region in recent years.”
BIS Shrapnel expects median house prices to rise a further 18 per cent by 2014.