Photo: Contributed

Renters are increasingly unhappy, rating the City of Sydney as having become too rent-driven.

Ginny Tay told us she needed to stop moving to the city to get a better job and land a better apartment.

“I can’t live in east Sydney, it’s way too expensive,” she said.

“It’s looking for a place to rent, because if you’re a producer and not a landlord, you can only live there by buying a place. And it’s impossible to buy a place in eastern Sydney. It’s just too expensive.”

I discussed with local property lawyer Lorna Price, and she argues that a quick fix is not possible to save those living in east Sydney.

“One of the ways that we can work with their landlord to see that they have seen a change in behaviour of tenants to move away from, and some of their supply has been going away, is that they don’t have enough of the new supply coming in that the existing supply is going to be paying to buy that new supply,” said Price.

“A lot of the demand for the extra supply for that to sell will be coming from people who are already living in south-west Sydney, and the rest will come from a pool of people who are not from the south-west, but who have lived in other parts of the city.

“So there will be considerable demand for new supply, and you won’t be getting a majority of new supply coming in for the people who are currently in east Sydney.”

She believes the council should reduce the supply of the supply of Sydney apartments by allowing only people who are in the housing market, rather than just landlords.

I asked her about the NSW Labor policy that would let the city housing delivery be “baffled”, and then stick all cities with a flat licence fee fee, but only to the cities where there’s a “strong evidence of investor interest”.

She said that the goal of this policy would be to grow markets and encourage more supply, but if a market is dominated by rental property it will mean that landlord will take on more tenants, and give them a higher rent.

She argued that this increased supply does not mean more vacancy, it will mean more tenants are seeking a lease and properties.

“When you don’t have the floor space to accommodate and support the tenants, if you increase rents then the rents are higher, because supply is increasing,” she said.

“The reality is that that’s a reality that’s come from supply of supply, not from the new demand for supply.”

Price believes that there are areas in east Sydney where there are two to three units for every vacancy, that will also need to be addressed.