Room for professionals in rental market

Thursday 1 July 2004

What's wrong with this picture?

By The Landlord

One of the biggest industries around, providing an essential and costly service to more than a quarter of all households, is a cottage industry.

Tens of billions of dollars are invested in it, but it operates like something from the pre-industrial, village smithy era.

It is, of course, the residential rental property market.

We are used to thinking of it not as a service industry or as a lot of small businesses, but as an investment option, an asset class, or as part of the real estate market.

But however you look at it, it represents a rapidly growing sector of the economy.

Inland Revenue says around 165,000 people declared income from rents last year, nearly twice as many as 10 years ago.

This is in the context of steadily declining rates of home ownership. The 2001 census found 68 per cent of households were owner-occupied, down from 74 per cent in 1991.

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