- Posted By Jasmine Adams
A lack of rental accommodation and an influx of sea-changers choosing to make their new home in the beach town of Broome in WA’s Kimberley has plunged the popular tourist town into a rental crisis.
Since the coronavirus pandemic hit early last year, Tony Hutchinson, principal of Tony Hutchinson Real Estate, said Broome had become a popular destination for people trading the city life of Perth, Melbourne or Sydney for a different lifestyle.
Mr Hutchinson said he received about a dozen calls each week from people desperate for a home to rent, and when homes did become available, they were snapped up immediately.
“They’re getting whatever they can. [In the interim,] they’re staying with friends, moving to caravans or choosing accommodation that is smaller and unsuitable because they need a roof over their heads,” he said.
A lack of new investment properties being built was part of the problem, Mr Hutchinson said, with maintenance costs, insurance and shire rates a costly deterrent for investors.
“We need to get costs down to make it more attractive for investors,” he said.
First National Real Estate Broome principal Charmaine Snow said the situation was “fairly outrageous” with the rental market great for landlords but very stressful for tenants.