Cook Strait News
October 29, 1999
Impacts on Rent
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 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
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
"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
"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."