Record-breaking rents in the provinces

Tenants outside New Zealand’s three major metropolitan areas are facing record-breaking rents after the median rent climbed 6.8 per cent to an all time high of $395 per week, according to the latest Trade Me Property Rental Index.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said that outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch the rental market was running hot in March. “Record rental prices in Hawke’s Bay ($400 per week), Northland ($400 per week) and Southland ($275 per week) have been driving this increase and we expect to see the median rent in provincial areas crack $400 per week very soon.”

Mr Jeffries said Hawke’s Bay topped the charts for year-on-year growth with a 14.3 per cent increase in median weekly rent, followed by Nelson/Tasman ($420) and Manawatu/Wanganui ($320) where it was up just over 10 per cent.

Mr Jeffries said it was a different story in Auckland and Wellington. “Rental prices in the capital continued to ease in March after the median weekly rent in Wellington fell $15 on January’s record to $485. Auckland also cooled, shedding $10 off last month’s high to $540.”

The national median weekly rent was unchanged for a third consecutive month in March at $470, but still up 4.4 per cent on last year.

Auckland rents drop

Mr Jeffries said that while the median rent in Auckland dropped 1.8 per cent on February to $540 per week in March, rental prices were still up “a solid 4.9 per cent” on last year when the median rent was $515 per week.

“Auckland is still seeing strong demand for rentals, with a three-bedroom property in Mount Wellington receiving 116 enquiries in the first two days of being listed on-site.”

Table 1: Auckland’s most popular rental listings in March 2018

Rental address

Suburb

Enquiries in first 2 days

1

Panama Road

Mount Wellington

116

2

Fifth Avenue

Mount Albert

90

3

Monteith Crescent

Remuera

87

“Taking a closer look at the Auckland region, rents in the central city fell $10 on the month prior to $540 per week while the outer suburbs charged on with North Shore, Manukau, and Franklin all gaining momentum in March.

“The median weekly rents in Manukau and Franklin both rose $10 on February to $540 and $490 respectively, while rents in the North Shore climbed $5 on February to $600.”

Rental prices in Wellington ease

“Tenants in the capital will be glad to see rents continue to ease,” Mr Jeffries said. “The median rent in the Wellington region fell $15 from January’s record to $485 per week in March, but they’re still up a solid $45 on last year.”

Mr Jeffries said demand in the capital had cooled since peaking in January, and demand for rental properties in several traditionally quieter suburbs has increased. “In March, the most popular property in Wellington was a two-bedroom in Lower Hutt which had 82 enquiries in the first two days on-site.”

Table 2: Wellington’s most popular rental listings in March 2018

Rental address

Suburb

Enquiries in first 2 days

1

Oxford Terrace

Lower Hutt

82

2

Richmond Hill

Glenside

67

3

Rolleston Street

Mount Cook

67

Christchurch stalls

Mr Jeffries said Christchurch was the only large city to buck the trend after the median rent remained unchanged for a fourth consecutive month at $400 per week.

“The rental market in the Garden City is still in a lull with rental prices lingering around the $400 mark, and up a modest 1.3 per cent on March last year.”

Urban properties cool in the capital

Mr Jeffries said rents for apartments, townhouses and units in Wellington cooled in March, falling $20 per week from January’s high to $440.

“Townhouses for rent in Auckland have shown strong growth over the last 12 months with the median weekly rent climbing a solid 14 per cent to $650 per week,” he said.

Table 3: Median weekly rent by property size & region: March 2018 vs March 2017

Small houses (1-2 bedrooms) in Wellington match Auckland

“The median weekly rent for a small house in the capital reached a new record in March, and it now costs the same to rent a small house in either Auckland or Wellington. Rents for a small house in the capital have soared 15.4 per cent on last year to $450 per week and look set to eclipse Auckland in the coming months,” Mr Jeffries said.

Table 4: Median weekly rent by property size & region: March 2018 vs March 2017

NOTES
  • About the Trade Me Property Rental Price Index: This report provides a comprehensive monthly insight into the rental market covering price trends by type and size of property across New Zealand. The index is produced from Trade Me Property data of properties that have been rented in the month by property managers and private landlords. On average over 11,000 properties are rented each month and the report provides a comprehensive insight into this part of the property market for tenants, landlords and investors. The index is calculated using the median rent in the month, this being an accurate statistical assessment of the current rent being charged by landlords and property managers.

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