25 Jan 2011

Wellington rental demand slumps

9:21 am on 25 January 2011

New figures show demand for rental properties in Wellington has slumped to a 20-year low, reflecting a nationwide drop in the market.

Real estate company First National says its quarterly survey shows the national vacancy rate has doubled from 3% to 6% in the past year.

First National general manager John Stewart says business closures and downsizing in regional centres have forced people to relocate to find work.

He says many are forced to rent out their homes if they can't sell them, and the problem is worse in the upper end of the market in Wellington.