Rents in New Zealand reach $515 for the first time

Tenants around the country started the New Year with record-breaking rents after the national median weekly rent rose 4 per cent on January 2019, to a new high of $515 per week, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index.

Trade Me Property’s Aaron Clancy said the summer rental rush was in full swing and every region in the country experienced an annual lift in rent in January. “We’re seeing a huge demand for rental properties. Plenty of tenants kicked off 2020 by looking for a new place to rent after the number of enquiries across the country rose 86 per cent on December 2019. 

“Supply, on the other hand, simply isn’t keeping up. In January we saw a 19 per cent increase in the number of properties onsite when compared to December.


“It’s a tough time of year to be a prospective tenant. As many move back to the main students hubs for the university year and a lot of tenancies come up for renewal, competition ramps up dramatically and rentals get snapped up fast. Tenants really need to put their best foot forward to stand out from the crowd and get the place they want.”

Mr Clancy said some of the provinces saw some strong double-digit growth. “Gisborne and Southland topped the charts for year-on-year growth, with the median weekly rent rising 36 per cent and 21 per cent respectively. Manawatu/Whanganui and Northland also saw strong annual growth with rents rising 12 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.”


Wellington rents keep on rising

Wellington held on to the title of the most expensive region to rent in January after the median rent rose $25 per week, on last year to $575 per week.”


Mr Clancy said there was a silver lining for tenants. “The number of properties available to rent in Wellington was up 6 per cent on last year and there were a few more options for those looking for a new rental. 

“Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t look like this increase in supply will be enough to meet demand in the region with the number of enquiries up 9 per cent on the year prior. ”

Taking a closer look at the Wellington region, Wellington City had the highest median weekly rent at $600 per week, followed by Porirua at $560 and Upper Hutt which reached a new record in January at $550 per week. 

Mr Clancy said Wellington continues to be the hottest region in the country for rentals. “New Zealand’s most popular rental property in January was a two bedroom house in Newtown which had 159 enquiries in the first two days onsite. The city suburb of Newtown was certainly a hot favourite for tenants in January with New Zealand’s top three rental properties all in the area.”


Wellington’s most popular rental listings in Jan 2020

Rental address Suburb Enquiries in first 2 days
1 Riddiford Street  Newtown 159
2 Daniell Street Newtown 141
3 Kenwyn Terrace Newtown 125


Auckland rents hit new high

“Tenants in the Super City can expect to pay $15 more per week than last year after the median rent in the Auckland region rose 2.7 per cent year-on-year to a new record of $570 per week.”


Mr Clancy said increasing demand and low supply was pushing rents up. “In January, we saw a 19 per cent lift in the number of enquiries when compared to the year prior, while the number of properties available to rent was up 3 per cent. 

“Those wanting to rent in the central city are also facing record-breaking rents after the median rent in Auckland City hit a new high of $575 per week after a 4.5 per cent year-on-year increase.” 

Mr Clancy said North Shore City had the highest median weekly rent in the region at $600 per week. Rodney reached $570 in January, while Manukau City had a median weekly rent of $560. 

“The most popular rental property in Auckland in January was a three-bedroom in Glenfield which saw 110 enquiries in the first two days onsite.”


 Auckland’s most popular rental listings in Jan 2020

Rental address Suburb Enquiries in first 2 days
1 Eastern Park Parade Glenfield 110
2 View Road Moutn Eden 92
3 West Hoe Road Orewa 85


Rents in Whanganui rise $55 per week in one year

“Whanganui is a district to watch and we’re seeing fierce demand for rentals in the area after the number of enquiries on rental properties rose 47 per cent on the year prior. 

“Landlords in the area will be pleased to know that the median weekly rent price in Whanganui rose a solid 18 per cent or $55 per week on the year prior to $360 per week in January.”

Mr Clancy said rents in the district have been ‘playing catch up’ recently after a few years of small rental growth.



Medium houses hit record

“The median weekly rent for medium houses (3-4 bedrooms) across New Zealand reached a new record in January as demand for this property type continues to increase.” 

The median rent for small houses (1-2 bedrooms) saw the largest annual increase, rising 7.5 per cent to $430 per week. Medium houses (3-4 bedrooms) saw a 2.7 per cent lift in rent to a record $565 while large houses saw no change on the year prior to remain at $850 per week.

Large and medium size houses  in Wellington reached a new high compared to January 2019, with medium houses increasing 4 per cent  to $675 per week and large houses increasing 11 per cent to a record $1,250 per week. Small houses in Wellington saw a solid year-on-year increase of 11 per cent to $500 per week.

Median weekly rent by property size & region: January 2020 vs January 2019



Apartments, townhouses and units reach record

“Rents for apartments, townhouses and units across the country hit a new high after some solid annual rent growth. 

The median rent for apartments increased by 3 per cent on January 2019 at $495 per week, townhouses rose 5 per cent to $550, and rents for units increased 2.5 per cent to $405.

“Units in Wellington are in hot demand and the median weekly rent for a unit in the capital rose 12 per cent to $470 per week.” 


Median weekly rent by property type & region:January 2020 vs January 2019



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.