Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rental Crisis

A fact that some of you may not know is that there is a bigger population in Sydney (4.28 million) than in the entire of New Zealand (4.14 million). It's been an interesting transition from the biggest city in the south island to the biggest city in Australia. Obvioulsy the biggest factor in this is that it is a much busier place and a faster pace of life. This has it's positives and negatives and our biggest problem that we have overcome is finding somewhere to live.

In Belfast, it is a case of ringing a listing in a paper or contacting a real estate agent to arrange a viewing. In New Zealand, this was a more confusing issue. Although agents listed properties, contact had to be made between you and the current tennant to arrange a viewing which didn't always work out too well and, personally speaking, is a ridiculous way to conduct business. The easiest way to find property was through a website called TradeMe where you can contact the owner renting the property, arrange a viewing and agree to a deal on the spot.

In Sydney, things are even more frustrating. Agents do not show properties on request but advertise an open showing which usually falls on a Saturday morning or afternoon. In order to maximise viewings, Lou and I chose a suburb and visited all the estate agents in the vicinity to obtain listings of open viewings. We then picked up a throwaway map and highlighted the streets and finally listed the properties chronologically in order of viewing time.

Our first viewing was at 10am and we had 9 properties to see between then and 12.30pm which meant a lot of speed walking between places in 30c heat.

To cut a long story short, every single one of them was the size of a shoebox. What is more is that you are looking at the apartment with up to 15 other people. If you like the look of it, then you must fill in an application form (along with X others) and then wait to see if you are chosen. Understandably there is a surplus of people to housing available but this takes the cake in producing stress lines and stomach ulcers. The application form itself asks for more information than it takes to open up a bank account.

One of the sections requires current employment information and because we are currently both seeking work, having just arrived, I doubt we would be top of the pile on any property. To compound the issue, the Sydney Morning Herald today linked a rental crisis to a migration boost so it seems our problem is caused by others like us - whoops.

Just when it was looking futile and heart-rending, our awesome friend in Christchurch sorted for us to house-share with her sister in Homebush Bay until Christmas time which suited us perfectly as it didn't tie us down to 6 months here and would allow us to see more of the country in 2009.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds very stressful. I am glad you have a temporary fix which will let you get your bearings more. Is the location handy enough? Love to you both. xx

9:52 pm  
Blogger Skry said...

Bro it sounds like you've been really saved there by Kat's sister! I hope you guys are able to find somewhere by Crimbo time, but having 3 months must really have taken the weight off for the next while.

Best of luck looking for somewhere to rent and I hope your job (jobs?) are going well.

Also of interest, the dawn of a new internet age is "on the horizon", with a 100000 PC network able to pump out a 5GB/second transfer rate. You can get a movie in a couple of seconds. The source? The Large Hadron Collider! Is there anything it can't do?!?

9:29 am  

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