Rents in the main centres warm up with summer on the horizon

Tenants are trying to get ahead of the summer rental rush as rents in New Zealand’s three main centres warm up, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. 

Trade Me’s Aaron Clancy said the median weekly rent in Christchurch City, Wellington City and Auckland City rose between $20 and $40 per week on the year prior. “Rents in Wellington City saw the largest annual increase, up 7.4 per cent on last year to $580 in October. Christchurch City saw a 5 per cent lift to $420, and Auckland City rents rose 3.6 per cent to $570.” 

Mr Clancy said tenants in our largest cities appeared to be trying to beat the seasonal summer rental rush and hunting out their next flat early.  “October saw a growing demand for rentals in our three main metros with the number of enquiries on rentals in Christchurch City rising a staggering 28 per cent on October 2018. Wellington City saw enquiries jump 7 per cent on the year prior and Auckland City experienced a 14 per cent spike in demand.

“Typically we see rents begin to heat up from December onwards but this year tenants are trying to get ahead of the game and secure a rental before Christmas. 

“It could prove to be a very wise move, while prices are increasing now we’re predicting they’re only going to get higher as we head into the business end of summer. There will almost certainly be some new records set in early 2020.”

   

Rising property prices has more Kiwis renting

“Nationwide, the median weekly rent rose 4.2 per cent on last year, back to its all-time high of $500 per week. This growth is a result of rising demand for rentals across the country, in October there were 17 per cent more enquiries on rental listings than the same time last year.

“With property prices in ten regions reaching new records in October, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing huge increases in demand for rentals. Higher property prices leave more people in the rental market while they try to get a house deposit together.” 

Mr Clancy said almost every region saw a year-on-year increase in rent. Only Northland was unchanged on 2018 while there was with strong double-digit growth in Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu/Whanganui, Wellington and the West Coast. 

The median weekly rent in Waikato and Manawatu/Whanganui reached new records in October. 

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Wellington rentals the most popular

Mr Clancy said rentals in Wellington were the most popular out of any region after the number of enquiries on properties to rent in the region rose 13 per cent on last year. 

“The continuing theme of the Wellington property market is the massive demand for rental properties which keeps pushing rents up considerably. The number of rental properties available in Wellington jumped 12 per cent on September but demand continues to outstrip what’s available so we keep seeing rents head north. 

“The most popular rental property in New Zealand in October was in the Lower Hutt suburb of Fairfield. The two-bedroom house was listed for $340 per week in October and saw an incredible 117 enquiries in the first two days onsite.”

Wellington’s most popular rental listings in Oct 2019

Rental address Suburb Enquiries in first 2 days 
1 Fairfield Avenue Fairfield 117
2 Mortimer Terrace Aro Valley 101
3 Randwick Crescent Woburn 93

“We’ve seen an increasing number of Wellington tenants looking for rentals outside the city centre in the, traditionally, quieter areas like Lower Hutt and Porirua, opting for a longer commute to work and more affordable rents.

The median weekly rent in the Wellington region reached $550 per week after an 11.1 per cent increase year-on-year. Taking a closer look at the region, rents in Wellington City rose 7.4 per cent on the year prior to $580, rents in Porirua were up 10 per cent to $550 and Lower Hutt saw the median weekly rent rise 15.6 per cent to $520.

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Auckland rentals in demand

“Demand for rentals in Auckland is on the rise and tenants in the Super City are facing more competition.

“The number of enquiries on rental properties in Auckland rose 21 per cent on last year while the number of properties available dipped 2 per cent.”

Mr Clancy said after a quiet couple of months, the median weekly rent in Auckland rose 1.8 per cent year-on-year to $560 per week in October.

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The districts with the highest median weekly rents in October were Waiheke Island and Waitakere City which saw an 18 per cent jump to $580 and a 5 per cent boost to $530 per week respectively. 

Mr Clancy said the most popular rental property in Auckland in October was a three-bedroom house in West Harbour which had 75 enquiries in the first two days onsite. 

 Auckland’s most popular rental listings in Oct 2019

Rental address Suburb Enquiries in first 2 days
1 Oreil Ave West Harbour 75
2 Vine Street Mangere East 55
3 Manukau City Mangere 55

    

Solid rent growth for houses

Mr Clancy said nationwide, the median weekly rent increased across all house sizes when compared to October last year with rents for large houses (5+ bedrooms) seeing the largest jump, rising 6.3 per cent to $840 per week.

“Small houses (1-2 bedrooms) reached a new high in Wellington after a 7.1 per cent increase to $450 per week. Surprisingly, the median weekly rent for large houses (5+ bedrooms) in Wellington fell for the first time in a while after a 3.5 per cent dip to $965 per week.”

 Median weekly rent by property size & region:October 2019 vs October 2018

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Townhouses, apartments and units in hot demand

“The number of enquiries for townhouses, apartments and units nationwide rose a solid 23 per cent on October last year as more Kiwis opt for urban properties. 

Mr Clancy said the national median weekly rent for townhouses, units and apartments increased when compared to October 2018 with townhouses seeing the largest rent jump, rising 8 per cent on last year to $540.

“Looking across the main centres, the largest increase was for units in Wellington which saw rents rise 13.5 on last year to $420 per week.”

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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.