Rents rocket across the country

New Zealand’s national median rent reached a record-breaking $475 per week in April after a 5.6 per cent jump on last year, according to the latest Trade Me Property Rental Index.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said rents typically cool in autumn and winter, but April bucked the seasonal trend after strong demand for rental properties in the regions pushed prices north.

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Regional rents crack $400

Mr Jeffries said rents for properties outside New Zealand’s three major metropolitan areas (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) climbed 3.9 per cent on last year to reach $400 for the first time.

“This jump across the country has been caused by strong demand in a number of regions. The average number of enquiries on rental listings in Taranaki soared 122 per cent on last April and Southland topped the charts with enquires up a staggering 164 per cent.”

Mr Jeffries said this demand has led to record rents in Taranaki which climbed 2 per cent to $380 per week and in Southland the median weekly rent jumped 10.2 per cent to $270 per week.

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“Around the remaining regions, rents in Hawke’s Bay leaped 14.3 per cent to reach $400 per week and Bay of Plenty saw a new record after rising 4.4 per cent to $470 per week, just $10 less than Wellington,” he added.

The only region that didn’t grow on April last year was Manawatu/Whanganui which remained unchanged on April 2017.

Auckland rents remain at all-time high

Mr Jeffries said the median weekly rent in Auckland climbed 3.8 per cent on last April to return to its all-time high of $550 per week.

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“While rents went up $10 on March, we’ve seen demand drop back from summer’s peak. The most popular property in April was a two-bedroom house in Grey Lynn which received just over 80 enquiries in its first two days onsite.”

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

Rental address

Suburb

Enquiries in first 2 days

1

Chamberlain Street

Grey Lynn

82

2

Jordan Ave

Onehunga

63

3

Norrie Avenue

Mount Albert

62

Mr Jeffries said while rents remain high, tenants will be pleased to know there are more properties to choose from. “The supply and demand equation in Auckland is getting better for Kiwis on the hunt for a new rental property. The number of rental properties in the Super City is up 19 per cent on last April with the number of rental listings in Auckland City up a solid 35 per cent.

“Rents in the city were up $20 on the year prior to $550 per week, Franklin was up 6.4 per cent to $500, Rodney jumped 10 per cent to $550 and Waitakere City climbed 4 per cent to $520.

“With supply picking up and demand dipping we don’t expect to see any major changes in the Auckland rental price for the next few months.”

Wellington takes a breath

Mr Jeffries said tenants in the capital will be pleased that rents continue to ease following January’s record high.  “While rent in the Wellington region was up 6.7 per cent on last April, it has eased from January’s high of $500, falling to $480 per week in April.”  

In Upper Hutt, the median weekly rent jumped up 13.7 per cent on last year to $435. Rents in Lower Hutt were up 7.1 per cent to $450 and Wellington City climbed 7.1 per cent to $530 per week.

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Mr Jeffries said demand for Wellington rentals also cooled after the “frenetic” summer demand. “Wellington’s most popular property in April was a modern studio in Petone which had 85 enquiries in the first two days onsite.”

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

Rental address

Suburb

Enquiries in first 2 days

1

Jackson Street

Petone

85

2

Eldon Grove

Taita

69

3

Roxburgh Street

Mount Victoria

49

Christchurch unchanged since 2013

Mr Jeffries said Christchurch was bucking the national trend after the median rent remained unchanged for a fifth consecutive month at $400 per week.

“Supply and demand are very evenly matched in Christchurch. The rental market in the Garden City is still in a lull with prices lingering around the $400 mark - the same as it was way back in April 2013.”

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Apartments hit new high in Auckland

Mr Jeffries said apartments for rent in Auckland hit a record high price of $499 in April after climbing 0.8 per cent on last year. “We’re seeing the cost of renting an apartment in Wellington creep closer to Auckland after it rose 4.4 per cent to $470 per week.”

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

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Houses outside Auckland hit new high

“The median weekly rent for houses outside Auckland reached a new high of $440 in April, up 4.8 per cent on the year prior,” Mr Jeffries said.  “This has been driven by record-breaking rents for houses in the Bay of Plenty (up 4.3 per cent on last year to $480), the Hawke’s Bay (up 13.2 per cent to $430), Southland (up 16 per cent to $290) and Waikato (up 3.7 per cent to $425).”

He said medium (3-4 bedrooms) and small (1-2 bedrooms) houses in Wellington showed the largest annual increase in April, climbing 10 per cent to $550 and 9.3 per cent to $410 respectively.  

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

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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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