As Lae City is increasingly becomingthe focus of business growth, more people are being been forced into settlements due to high rental costs inthe suburbs.
Workers affected bythe high costs say it is a rip off andthe government needs to regulate prices.
Anne (not her real name) who works for a multinational soft drink maker in Lae says thatthe buying power of her company’s housing allowances gradually diminishes every year because rental rates rise by 10 percent every year.
“The rentals are so high that most working people cannot afford to pay for decent accommodation,” said Anne. “The government has to regulate rental prices to suitthe people’s needs.”
The main factor behindthe high rental prices isthe supply and demand.Land:hortage has beenthe main factor stopping developers from building more homes.
“Acquiring land for development from local land owners is very difficult,” said Mike Queen, The Real Estate Association President.
He said rental is at a constant and it is expected to staythe same for two years and inthe next year.
The housing demand inthe last 10 years has been driven bythe resource sector. Bet as construction onthe LNG project inthe highlands slowed, rates also dropped but only slightly.
Mike Quinn says withthe industry is expected to anther period of growth in two years whenthe Wafi mining project comes into operation.
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