Vacancy rates of residential properties in the Murrumbidgee have fallen to the lowest rate since October 2019, but there are still properties out there for rent, according to some of the city's real estate agents.
A vacancy rate survey conducted by Real Estate Institute NSW indicated in June 2020 just 0.8 per cent of Murrumbidgee rental properties were vacant.
The rate dropped 1.2 per cent from the previous month and is the lowest figure recorded for the region since October 2019, which saw a 0.5 per cent vacancy rate.
Only Albury - which had a 0.6 per cent vacancy rate - saw a tighter market for vacant properties in June.
Griffith Real Estate director Brian Bertolin said the drop represents the local market heading back to normal and the demand for lower-priced housing in the region is still strong.
"It just shows how stable our area is and the fact that we're probably a little bit isolated and haven't felt the effects [on the market] like the cities have," Mr Bertolin said.
"We saw a period from March through to probably the back-end of May where there were just no vacancies at all - people stayed put obviously because of the partial lock-downs and everyone just stayed as it was - we saw a freeing of that in June where people did sort of move around and now I'd say we're back to a normal market where you get your normal ins and outs.
"We're still getting huge inquiries especially for the lower priced stuff ... the upper limit stuff - over $400 and that is a little bit slower - but anything in that $200-300 price bracket per week is getting a huge number of inquiries for it."
Mr Bertolin said while the vacancy rate sits at 0.8 per cent, there is still a "good cross-section of supply of property" across the city's real estate market for renters, but
"What's being filled today, there's another vacant tomorrow," Mr Bertolin said.
"With a rental property you've always got to match the tenant to the property ... finding that balance at times can be a challenge if someone's got a budget for what they want.
"We're not getting as many people from overseas at the moment with the close-downs and everything like that - it's probably helped people move around here a bit easier."
It just shows how stable our area isGriffith Real Estate director Brian Bertolin
Leasing consultant at Nutrien Harcourts Griffith Karla Zirilli said the rental market was "very slow" at the moment in the city and estimated she had around 15 vacant properties on the books at the moment but prospective tenants are either concerned about the amount of rent or the properties do not meet their individual criteria.
"There are a certain amount of properties that are just sitting there," Ms Zirilli said.
"There's a lot of people looking for places with, say - four bedrooms and a specific list of criteria - and there is not a lot of variety in that regard.
"We went through a period where rents were quite high and some landlords are still stuck in that mindset ... we've had to drop rents quite frequently [to encourage tenants to sign on]."
Mr Bertolin said the rent of some properties on the higher end of the market have had to be reduced, but for properties around the $200 to $300 per week mark rents have either remained stable or seen a small increase due to demand.
Ms Zirilli also said the knock-on effects from the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the market as agencies were required to organise private inspections - which restricted the amount of people looking at properties - as well as restrictions of travel which reduced the amount of people looking to move to the city from outside the region.
REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said with rising unemployment stemming from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, affordability is a key issue in the mind of many tenants - with regional areas seeing more vacancies filled than metropolitan areas.
"The impact of COVID-19 on the residential rental market continues to be significant and shows no sign of abating," Mr McKibbin said.
The vacancy rate report from REINSW is calculated based on the proportion of unlet residential dwellings to the total amount of rented dwellings managed by REINSW - with the June 2020 report based on responses covering 116,110 rental properties across the state.