Wagga's busy rental market is continuing to see unseasonably high demand, with the coronavirus pandemic only exacerbating the situation.
A Real Estate Institute NSW vacancy rate survey has found 1.2 per cent of Riverina residential properties were vacant in June, a drop of 1.3 per cent on the previous month.
The figures are in complete contrast with metropolitan figures, with inner city Sydney soaring to 5.8 per cent.
RE/MAX Elite director Dave Skow said vacancy in Wagga was "extremely tight" right now, with just 0.6 per cent of his company's properties vacant.
He said while Sydneysiders currently out of work would be unable to keep up with rent prices, Wagga's tenants were benefiting from the more affordable market.
"Wagga's average rental price is about $340 a week which is still relatively affordable if you were out of work and you were receiving JobKeeper or JobSeeker payments," he said.
Mr Skow said uncertainty around coronavirus was keeping more people in the rental market while fewer were looking to invest in rental properties.
"Normally there's a natural flow of tenants who become homeowners and move into their own homes and we haven't seen that this year, we haven't seen so many first home buyers exit the tenancy pool," he said.
He said many recent sales of rental properties had also been bought by people looking to occupy as investors wait to see the effects of the pandemic.
Mr Skow said the high demand for rentals was coming at a traditionally slower time for Wagga, with the university and defence bases seeing more movement in summer.
"Typically we're in the middle of what is our quieter lease period where we try and avoid vacancy because there's just not as many people moving around ... this year has really bucked that trend completely and what is the typical quiet season is actually the busiest we've been for a long time."
Professionals Real Estate managing director Paul Irvine said his company was seeing very high demand for rentals in a trend that he had seen across the past two to three years.
He said there were a "multitude of things" contributing to the squeeze, with a hot selling market leaving some Wagga residents in need of a short term rental after finding selling their home easier than buying the next one.
With an abundance of temporary construction jobs in and around Wagga, Mr Irvine said workers were filling many of the available properties and even Airbnbs.
"Furnished accommodation is getting snapped up very quickly because of people in Wagga working for 6 month or 12 month contracts," he said.
Mr Irvine said the coronavirus pandemic could be contributing to the demand for Wagga rentals, with more enquiries from people coming to Wagga than they would usually see at this time of the year.
He said the compounding factors meant it was a tough time to find a rental in the city.
"At the moment you've got to be at the right place at the right time it's as simple as that, because something good today is gone tomorrow," Mr Irvine said.