Finding a treasure chest at the beach may be more likely than obtaining a rental property in the Fleurieu at the moment.
New research commissioned by Well Home Loans has revealed the 20 South Australian suburbs where it's almost impossible to find a rental, and Victor Harbor holds the not so enviable position of third on the list.
Unfortunately, Victor Harbor isn't the only Fleurieu-based location on the list, with Strathalbyn and Goolwa also featuring in the top 20.
Every suburb had only one, two or three vacant rentals when the research was conducted last December. To qualify as 'vacant', a property had to have been advertised for rent for 21 days or more.
To establish the ranking, suburbs were then ranked based on the highest change in house rental rates over the previous 12 months.
During the research period, Victor Harbor only had one vacant rental property (house and unit), and saw an increase of $90 in weekly rates over the past year.
Strathalbyn, which ranked sixth on the list, also had one vacant rental property during the same time period, and saw a weekly rates increase of $60.
While not as drastic as the other two locations, Goolwa still only had one vacant rental, while weekly rates increased by $35 over the past 12 months.
Worryingly, all locations boasted some of the lowest vacancy rates on the list, with Victor Harbor (0.33 per cent), Strathalbyn (0.32 per cent) and Goolwa (0.85 per cent).
The vacancy rate is the share of untenanted rental properties in an area.
Harcourts South Coast managing director Sam Forde said the situation in the region has been difficult, with a number of factors resulting in rentals being hard to obtain.
"We have seen a little bit of a trend from people that normally rent out properties. They have seen the market increasing in price and have decided to actually sell the property," she said.
"There are also people who are looking to move back into the region, into their own homes - this has resulted in some people deciding to not renew leases."
Business development manager Michelle Taylor explained that people generally expect to pay between $270 and $450 per week for rental properties in the region.
She said that the real estate agency was aware of some landlords wanting to increase rent significantly, but stated it was important that for both parties to be looked after.
"We don't want to go over the top, because if the market does change you are going to get people breaking leases and looking for other properties," Ms Taylor said.
"Our increases used to be $5-10, now it can be anything up to $30. However, we make sure that we are fair with tenants.
"I had a landlord the other day say they could get another $150, but I told them that if they increase it by a lower amount, they are are likely to keep a good tenant."
Well Home Loans chief executive officer Scott Spencer said there are two different stories playing out in the suburbs listed in the study, with investors being in a strong position, and forcing tenants to compete.
"If you're an investor in a suburb that contains only three vacant rental properties, tenants have to compete hard for your property, which gives you the chance to push up rents," he said.
"Conversely, if you're a tenant, life is really tough, because it's difficult to find accommodation and you know rents are climbing fast.
Mr Spencer said tenants in the listed suburbs could consider buying, especially if rent increases to a point where they were now more expensive than mortgage repayments.
However, some of these suburbs had high levels of disadvantage, as measured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which would make it hard for local residents to get onto the property ladder.
Of the 20 suburbs, 16 were located in Adelaide and four in regional South Australia. All the regional locations, except for Nairne, were based in the Fleurieu.
Well Home Loans' top 20 difficult suburbs to find rentals:
- Henley Beach South
- Victor Harbor
- Renown Park
- Wynn Vale
- Hallett Cove
- Happy Valley
- Windsor Gardens
- Valley View
- Croydon Park
- Para Hills
- Andrews Farm
- Royal Park