Agents weigh in on Noosa’s ‘scary’ housing crisis
Returning Noosa MP Sandy Bolton said it was one of her main priorities for her new term, but what exactly is the solution for Noosa's lack of long-term accommodation?
Noosa property managers see first-hand how desperate some families are to secure a home but sadly, their efforts are proving futile.
Agents are seeing unprecedented numbers of interstate investors buying up Noosa properties and bypassing long term renters for the lucrative short-term holiday market.
Carol Anne Norgrove from CAN Properties Noosa is one agent who admits her holiday rent roll has surpassed her permanent rentals.
"I haven't listed a permanent rental for months however I am listing three to five a week for holidays," she said.
"We don't normally do that in a month."
After 35 years in the industry across three states, she said she could see the short-term rental market was going to impact the region.
"I have always been concerned, especially in Noosa, the short-term market is going to overweigh the permanent," she said.
"It's a bit scary."
Ms Norgrove understands the importance of affordable housing for locals but isn't holding much hope for a solution anytime soon.
"We need operators otherwise we won't have businesses to service the guests," she said.
She believed only another COVID outbreak would put a halt to the influx of holiday renters and a chance for long term tenants to get back in the market.
"It's the only thing that will pop this bubble," Ms Norgrove said.
Hang Loosa's Chris Allen said he had zero rental vacancies on the books, and when they did get one it was snapped up within two or three days.
"We get 20 to 30 inquiries a week, it is numbers we have never seen before," he said.
The agency director said he was seeing investors moving back into their Noosa properties due to COVID-19 restrictions which was adding to the spike in unavailable rentals.
"I think some owners thought now is the time to do something different," Mr Allen said.
With an ever-growing waiting list of suitable tenants, Mr Allen said some were offering to pay six-months rent in advance just to secure a property.
"Tenants have no choice at the moment," he said.
Noosa Blue and Noosa Lakes resort general manager Ryan Rae said they always had a handful of permanent rentals - but it made more sense to let them to holiday letters.
"The yield is higher for short term rentals," he said
Mr Rae said it was his general observation that there was definitely a lack of affordable permanent housing in Noosa and he suggested workers should begin to look outside of the region for housing and commute in for work.
"When I worked in Brisbane, 45 minutes was a short commute," he said.
"In Sydney, that's happy days."