Journalist: Sarah Matthews.
The price of rental properties in Katherine has surged by more than four per cent in the last 12 months, prompting concerns from advocates about housing affordability in the region.
New data, released earlier this month, found the the Top End has experienced a major spike in rental prices amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Ray White Now report for July, rental prices in Katherine have gone up by 4.4 per cent in the 12 months to May 2021.
However, a report from CoreLogic, released today, found property values in Darwin went up by a whopping 21 per cent in the 12 months to June of this year, with regional NT property values going up by 9.5 per cent.
Shelter NT CEO Peter McMillan said the squeeze is being felt across regional Australia, but especially in the Territory.
“Anecdotally it’s quite a common story for people moving to Katherine with their family for work that there just aren’t rentals available,” he said.
“I have heard a number of accounts of people staying in motels for up to four months before finding a place, never mind a place that’s affordable.”
“Twelve months ago there was essentially no places for rent that were affordable for low to mid-income earners. Twelve months on it’s even more dire.”
Mr McMillan said some people have been forced to leave the Territory because they are unable to find housing.
“Rents are causing a lot of uncertainty, lot of trauma within families at the moment,” he said.
“Many renters who have made the Territory their own down in Katherine really face prospect of not finding somewhere to live.”
He said the NT Government must create more housing for rent and for sale “at all price points.”