[Melbourne-pm] Geek accomodation

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Wed Sep 19 20:25:34 PDT 2007

Toby Corkindale <tjc at wintrmute.net> writes:
> Daniel Pittman wrote:
>> Toby Corkindale <tjc at wintrmute.net> writes:
>>> It was great to meet you the other week.. I'm back in Adelaide now,
>>> but it looks like I'll be back in Melbourne even sooner than I
>>> expected, as I've provisionally accepted a job offer in Melbourne..
>>> Another geekfriend in Melbourne said that I may have trouble renting a
>>> place on my own, as my rental history is all London based, as will be
>>> my work history. Do you know if that is realistically the case?
>> I can warn you that the housing market in Melbourne, especially in the
>> inner city area, is awful to be looking for a place in; my partner and I
>> have the ill luck to be hunting at the moment.
>> I don't imagine the biggest problem will be the rental history being
>> discarded so much as your needing to compete with twenty to fifty other
>> applications on any property you care to name.
> Ouch, really?

Yeah, really.  I was shocked when I attended a house inspection
yesterday that we were the only people at.  I actually asked the agent
about it and was more shocked that there hadn't been much interest.[1]

> Do they pull a name out of a hat to decide, or take the person they
> think scores highest on some set of attributes?

Many of the applicants put in offers well above the list rent or offer
other inducements to the owner to select their offer.

The agents, of course, want to do as little work as possible to find a
candidate since they get more money from a second placement than from a
slightly better placement for the owner.

They mostly just select the best and easiest option, and probably tend
toward the second more than the first.[2]

Rumor has it that "reverse auction" up-bidding of the rent occasionally
happens when agents let applicants compete to bump up their rent offer
until only one or two remain in the running, but evidence is scant...

So, yeah, it really is that bad.  A healthy market is around a two or
three percent vacancy rate.  The center of Melbourne averages around .7
or .9 percent at the moment...


...and into this I have to find somewhere to live.  Yay.  Lucky me.

[1]  The, er, interesting design choice in the downstairs area was
     probably a big contributor to this, as was it being 3PM on

[2]  The commission structure they are paid from strongly encourages
     this, and this does show up routinely in the real world with both
     sales and rental markets.

Daniel Pittman <daniel at cybersource.com.au>           Phone: 03 9621 2377
Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne             Web: http://www.cyber.com.au
Cybersource: Australia's Leading Linux and Open Source Solutions Company

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