Goulburn is crying out for affordable, apartment style rental accommodation, a need that presents a strong opportunity for would-be developers, according to property industry experts.
While the market as a whole remains buoyant, a new report shows we are one of the least affordable in terms of rental prices and we are also restricted by lack of availability.
"Investors should definitely be looking at medium density houses," said Felicity Apps, property manager with Angella Storrier Real Estate.
"When Quest went up, people thought it was great, but they want $500 a week for a one-bed apartment it's upscale.
"We need some smaller places for low-income people and I haven't heard of anything like that in the works, but a good, affordable apartment complex would do amazingly."
The Affordable Housing Income Gap Report, produced by Compass Housing Services, revealed on Thursday that regional NSW's least affordable local government areas for renting were Goulburn, Byron Tweed Shire, Clarence Valley (Grafton), Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Shoalhaven, Port Macquarie, Kiama and Port Stephens.
"There are not many affordable properties available for for under $250 a week," said Ms Apps.
"Not many smaller properties are being developed in Goulburn - they are more 3-4 bedroom family homes and people come from Canberra and the Southern Highlands, which increases demand.
"I think our market is fairly affordable, but there's not enough available for lower end.
"When they become available, we get so much interest and they go so fast."
Daniel Strickland, area manager for Mission Australia in South Eastern NSW and ACT, said the lack of suitable properties for people on lower incomes was a big driver of homelessness in the region.
"Individuals and families spending a significant proportion of their income on rent can find it challenging to maintain secure housing along with other essentials, and may be at risk of homelessness," he said.
"This report shows that rental stress is experienced even at median income levels for private renters and we know the situation is even worse for low-income earners.
"Safe and secure housing is a key concern for those accessing our services in the Goulburn region, and more social and affordable housing is needed.
"As part of the Everybody's Home campaign Mission Australia is calling for 500,000 more social and affordable homes across Australia by 2030."
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