In the News: Cook Straight News – Film Impacts on Rent

by Oct 26, 1999Lord of the Rings (Movies)

Joram at Ringbearer.org received the following article that speaks in regards to the Lord of the Ring’s impact on the local economy in and around Wellington. The rent has tripled and quadrupled out there! Yipe!


Film Impacts on Rent

by Anna Chalmers

Cook Straight News, October 25, 1999

Wellington’s popularity as a filming venue is making rental properties
in Roseneath, Seatoun and Miramar a hot commodity and something
some Real Estate agents say they can not get enough of.

With Fort Dorset in Seatoun one of the main locations for filming
Peter Jackson’s $360 million Lord of the Rings trilogy, many crew,
including the stars need homes in the area. Demand for houses has
meant numerous homeowners in sought after properties have moved
out of their homes so they can be rented to film crew. Flyers have
been placed in many eastern Wellington letterboxes, by Three Foot
Six Ltd, accommodation coordinators for Lord of the Rings, wanting
homes to rent. Lord of the Rings publicist Claire Raskind says the film
is unusually long so actors and film crew need comfortable
accommodation. “It’s important people feel like they have a home”
she says.

She says cast and crew, come and go, so accommodation
requirements are constantly changing. “We have a rotating base of
homes for people.”

She says they are still looking for “executive properties”, particularly
ones with a sea view or location. LJ Hooker property manager Giles
Kidman says he cannot get enough “big homes” with a capacity for
entertaining. He has a list of clients waiting for rental properties in
the top price bracket. “Wellington is really on the increase, people
are getting transfers, the city is really booming with what it has to
offer.”

He says sea and coast views are in big demand because that is what
New Zealand has promoted overseas as being. He says that while
furnished homes for rent are popular, white-ware is particularly
important, as buying appliances is more of a problem than furniture.

“If it was something nice then they would pay the price. Tenants
today have changed, they’re willing to pay a little bit more and they
usually shift around to find what they want.” With the extra demand
for homes, he says rental prices in areas like Miramar have increased.

“People are looking for houses in Miramar anyway, so there is added
pressure on the area [with filming]. I’d say that, because of the
pressure, they [prices] are coming back up to what they should be.”

Leaders Kilbirnie manager Craig Oliver says many of the high price
properties he knows of have been rented out directly to the film
company rather than going through an agent. He says it is not
unusual to hear of $900 rent a week being charged for Roseneath
homes. Gone are the days of exorbitant rents, most will only pay
market rent for houses he says. While the exact number of crew
needing homes is unknown, finding houses is a full time job, says Ms
Raskind. She says the Wellington community has really welcomed
everybody.

“The people of Wellington have been great, especially with
confidentiality issues and the production crew really appreciate that.”

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