Naracoorte's all-time rental shortage means a thriving community

POSITIVE SIGNS: Current demands in Naracoorte's real estate market is resulting in a network of solutions. Photo: File
POSITIVE SIGNS: Current demands in Naracoorte's real estate market is resulting in a network of solutions. Photo: File

Unprecedented demand within Naracoorte's real estate market has led to a collaborative response of solutions to help grow and meet the town's future needs.

Among the network seeking remedies over dire rental shortages in and around their town is Elders Real Estate Naracoorte and the Naracoorte Lucindale Council.

According to the real estate outlet, the town has experienced a rise in tenants searching for homes, revealing it's the highest they have witnessed in years.

To date, their large portfolio of offerings are full with the only next rental vacancy available in August.

"We've filled every single one of our properties...we could rent to five today," Real Estate branch operations manager Aimee Hoyle told Naracoorte Herald.

The result is a contrast to Australia's rental market which reportedly undergoes considerable change since COVID-19 hit.

"While there is no trend analysis for the area, unfortunately we don't have the exact answer why," Ms Hoyle said.

However, the long-time agent attributes the change to a variety of reasons, such as people drawn to the town for employment opportunities, residents downsizing or those expanding their family.

"That's why it's so hard to find a trend analysis because everyone's individual situation is different,"

Yet, Ms Hoyle highlights the shift in the market as a good news for the popular tourist town.

"Real Estate has been consistent over the years with movement in sales as well as rentals, so it's a positive time for us because it means we are active," she said.

To address the current situation, staff work alongside land developers to help open up the market and, among their own business platform, have turned to social media to promote the demand.

Ms Hoyle explained these efforts are hoped to complement the recently released building government grant scheme put in place due to economic challenges brought on by the coronavirus.

"So we welcome the increased activity around land development for people to purchase and build their dream home," she said.

Ms Hoyle is also optimistic the rental shortage will encourage people to consider or reconsider investing in Naracoorte, touting good returns.

But advises it is a long-term earn investment, not short-term.

Furthermore, she urges the community to continue to support commercial landlords who had to close their doors or limit their hours during the pandemic.

"We have had quite a good and healthy rent roll that ties in with our residential properties, which range from storage sheds to buildings and the Kincraig Plaza," she added.

The unique property situation is also high on the Naracoorte Lucindale Council radar.

Chief executive officer Trevor Smart explained how the council with Tatiara Council are focussed on various housing projects to overcome the current challenge.

"We have two subdevelopment divisions at Naracoorte which are currently subject to approval," Mr Smart said.

These developments have the potential to provide 60 new allotments in the town, yet Mr Smart points out the delay in build time and house choices for the sites.

Meanwhile, much of the council's planning for the town, Mr Smart says, falls under the Limestone Coast Regional Growth Strategy released in 2018.

The strategy is a platform for the district and its leaders to collaborate and push forward to reach higher economic growth priorities.

Mr Smart said with the council zone currently tipping 8600 people, 5000 in Naracoorte - growth recorded over the past two censuses has been noted as "positive".

He associates the increase to employment opportunities in and surrounding Naracoorte.

Mr Smart said demands in industries such as meat processing, viticulture and beyond had led to a rise in the working age population.

"Our unemployment rate is low so are we are trying to come up with solutions to attract and retain our people to our area," he said.

"That's why we work with Tatiara as we have similar industry," he added.