Agents in Orange have reported a decline in rental demand, owing to the departure of a large number of mining contractors following a two-year boom in the town.
Peter Mitchell of Peter Mitchell Property Management said the market was simply returning to its original state.
He explained the recent mining boom had caused an increased demand for rental properties, particularly serviced apartments and furnished properties.
“Rather than them being in a motel, the [subcontractors] rented a house. So owners went out and furnished them and, say the house was rented at $400 a week, as soon as they put furniture in, it went up to $700 to $800," he explained.
“At the end of the day, it’s just back to normal. No one is losing. Some of these houses have still got furniture in them, where they’re still trying to rent them as furnished accommodation and it’s just not going to happen.”
Mr Mitchell estimated that 30 per cent of available properties were either furnished or previously furnished.
He said he had properties that had been on the market for a fortnight that he would seek to lower the prices of.
“You’ve got to be realistic and as another month goes by, I think the owners will become realistic because they’re going to have to,” he said.
Director of CENTURY 21 Combined Orange Andrew Vogler agreed with Mr Mitchell, saying the market had corrected itself.
“The rental market has always been pretty good in Orange,” he said. “Two years ago, when we had the influx of these construction workers it did push the rental prices up and they weren’t at sustainable levels.
“There are still plenty of people looking for rental properties, but landlords need to be realistic with the current market when they are setting their prices.”
Mr Vogler said he also noticed an increased number of serviced and furnished properties on the market during the boom.
“They were getting really good money and you could get a three- to four-bedroom home anywhere from $600 a week to $1,000 a week for a serviced apartment,” he said.
“It was always going to be a short-lived thing and we made a conscious strategic decision not to go down that path.”