Queenstown struggling to find renters who can afford the city

  • 02/07/2018

TradeMe's rental data for May shows Queenstown continues to be the most expensive place to rent in the country.

Real estate agents say their work has almost dried up as a result of the foreign buyers ban.

Financial advisor Martin Hawes told The AM Show foreign buyers bring an "awful lot" to the community.

"This country has needed international capital all its history. We need people coming in and buying stuff."

He says the ban won't make a difference to affordable housing because foreign buyers aren't purchasing the affordable houses.

Mr Hawes says he's not worried about housing for the travellers and students working in cafés or ski fields.

"They earn $15 or $18 an hour, they go 20 or 25 to a house, and they hot bed. But they're less of a concern, they're here for fun and they'll have that fun and that's fine.

"But teachers, nurses, police, middle management, that's a completely different thing. You hollow out a community if you send all of those people off to Cromwell or Kingston to live - it's an hour's drive away and you'll stop growth."

He said he knows plenty of stories about people not being able to get workers to move to Queenstown.

"I heard a story of a doctor who left town. She was earning probably $120,000 a year and she left because she couldn't afford to buy a house and she'd never be able to."

Mr Hawes says a lot of landlords have shifted their properties from long term rentals to shorter term options like Airbnb.