Unprecedented times have created a 'double-edged sword' for people looking to rent and buy in Dubbo, as job growth in the region soars and residential vacancy rates hit a record low.
Latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of NSW shows the residential vacancy rate for October in the Orana region, including Dubbo, sat at just 0.7 per cent.
In September the residential vacancy rate in the Central West was the lowest across the state at just 0.4 per cent.
According to REINSW Orana division chairperson Adam Wells, historically Dubbo had provided good opportunities for people looking to rent and buy, but with unprecedented times of a global pandemic there had become a strain on housing opportunities for people in the region.
"There's so many people looking to rent in town, and obviously the supply just isn't there," he said.
"The demand is really high, which is great that we've got people looking to move to town, but we just need to keep looking at ways we can solve that problem."
Mr Wells said this was also the case homes for sale, with about 150 less properties on the market to buy then there was 12 months ago.
"I think the people that are selling, they're getting great prices and a lot of interest, but there's just not as many properties on the market for sale and there's not as many properties on the market to rent at the moment," he said.
"So it's really interesting and a delicate position we're in at the moment."
Mr Wells said the low vacancy rate demonstrated Dubbo was in a strong economic position with more people leaving metropolitan areas and relocating to regional centres due to more job opportunities in the area.
"All the work that's going on around the region from the state government, with the solar farm, Inland Rail and the amount of housing and hospital work that's happening, there's just so much happening in town which is great," Mr Wells said.
"It's a double-edged sword. We've got a really positive time to be in Dubbo because there's so much opportunity for work and employment growth, but then it puts a strain on people looking to live here, because it's just not the stock at the moment."
Mr Wells said the REINSW were working with the Dubbo Regional Council to look at creative ways to provide housing options for people.
Shown recently with 59 sub-divided lots at Keswick Estate by the council being sold, to help provide more housing options for Dubbo.
"If the REINSW continues to work with the council, whether it's opening up greenfield sites, or re-zoning some areas of Dubbo, we need to keep that discussion open with council as they're the major landholder in town and they're the ones that are able to influence decision-making of zoning or changing zoning or opening up areas."
"There's not a lot we can do about it right now, but we need to keep addressing issues of having affordable choices, having creative choices for people to buy, for people to rent."
Prior to the pandemic, the REINSW had been discussing with council solutions to the absence of sufficient and new villa apartments, townhouses and units in Dubbo.
"If you look at a lot of unit blocks around town, they're all very very old," Mr Wells said.
"Dubbo is at the lowest point in unit sales in regional NSW compared to other major cities like Wagga, Mudgee, Bathurst, Orange, who have a lot more modern units and town houses for sale.
"I think we're positioned well in terms of being able to offer property, at the moment at an affordable rate, but it's about creating different choices for people who are whether they're looking at houses or units, or townhouses.
"Were seeing that pressure now on rental stocks when that part of the market is [not serviced] as well. So we just want to create solutions with council with what we can do with that."