New apartments needed for students


ANOTHER 17 apartments will be built in Invercargill this year to meet the growing needs of Southern Insti› tute of Technology (SIT) inter› national students and help offset a rental accommodation shortage in the city.
‘‘We like to have our international students accommodated in our own apartments for the first six months until they get set› tled into the city and get to know people and where various facilities are in the city so that they can make good decisions about where they move to next,’’ SIT chief executive Penny Simmonds said.
SIT was aware there was a shortage of rental accommodation in Invercar› gill, which was one reason why it was building more apartments, she said.
‘‘With 23% growth in international student numbers at SIT last year and numbers ahead of target already this year we see this becoming more of an issue over coming months.’’
SIT built 12 two›bedroomed apart› ments in Yarrow St in 2013 and now planned to build 17 more on the same street, provid› ing an additional 68 beds for its students, she said.
Construction was expected to start in May.
Ms Simmonds said SIT was not considering any further accommodation developments at this stage.
There has been a short› age of rental accommo› dation in the city since late last year.
Ray White senior prop› erty manager Jenni Dennis said she recently showed 37 people through one rental property in a single view› ing.
‘‘They just kept coming.’’
Some three and four›bedroom rent› als were being tenanted before the properties had even been listed, she said.
‘‘We are usually busy with student accommodation at this time of year, but this year [we are] exceptionally short.’’
The majority of people looking for rental accommodation were people in their late 20s and early 30s with young families, she said.
Professionals Real Estate property management manager Tom Dymond said there was a shortage of two› bedroom and ‘‘high›end’’ rental accommodation.
Usually his company had about 12 empty rental properties on its books at this time of year, he said. As of Monday last week, it had five empty rental properties available, with another seven or eight expected to be available within the next week.
Mr Dymond said a combination of factors might be causing the shortage, including more people selling their rental properties to recoup their investments while the housing market was strong, and an increasing number of SIT students.
His advice to people looking for a rental property?
‘‘If they see a place they like, don’t hesitate, because the chances are it will be gone.’’best Running shoesAir Jordan