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Weekly rent cracks $500 for the first time

New Zealand’s median weekly rent reached $500 for the first time in April after a 5.3 per cent annual increase and strong growth in the provinces, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index.

Head of Trade Me Rentals Aaron Clancy said it was a big milestone and showed just how much demand existed around the country. “It’s getting more and more expensive for New Zealand tenants, high rents aren’t just a ‘city problem’ anymore either.

“Six regions hit all-time highs in April, as a growing number of Kiwis look at their options outside our three largest cities. We’re seeing some Kiwis look further afield for their next rental, it’s a cost they can’t or don’t want to pay so they’re saying goodbye to the big city for life in the regions.

“That, in turn is pushing up prices around the country. In April, the median weekly rent in the Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu/Whanganui, Southland, Taranaki and Waikato all hit new records.”

Mr Clancy said Hamilton is running hot after experiencing a surge of demand (up 16 per cent on last year). “The most popular rental property on Trade Me in April was a three-bedroom house on Stanley Street in the Hamilton suburb of Claudelands which saw 103 enquiries in its first two days onsite.”

The median weekly rent in Hamilton reached a new high of $450 per week in April after climbing $30 per week or 7.1 per cent year-on-year.
“Manawatu/Whanganui topped the charts for year-on-year growth, with the median rent rising 20 per cent, or $60 per week, on last April to $360 per week. Southland (up 18.5 per cent to $320), Marlborough (up 16.2 per cent to $430) and Hawke’s Bay (up 12.5 per cent to $450) also experienced solid year-on-year growth.”

Auckland rents steady
Auckland’s median weekly rent steadied in April after a modest 1.8 per cent annual increase to $560, said Mr Clancy.

“Tenants in the Super City can breathe a sigh of relief as rents in the region have seen little growth over the last 12 months, having only increased $10 per week.

“If we take a closer look at the region, the strongest rent growth was further afield than Auckland’s city centre as more Kiwis opt for a longer commute and cheaper rent,” he added.

The median weekly rent in Papakura reached an all-time high of $545 in April, up 11.2 per cent on last year along with rents in Waitakere which were up 5.8 per cent year-on-year to a record $550. Auckland City rents rose 2.7 per cent to $565 per week.

“Auckland’s most popular rental property in April was a two-bedroom house in Flat Bush, roughly 25 kilometres from the city centre. The listing received 101 enquiries in its first two days onsite,” he added.

Auckland’s most popular rental listings in April 2019

Rental addressSuburbEnquiries in first two days
1Innisowen PlFlat Bush101
2St Lukes RdSt Lukes90
3Donegal Park DriveFlat Bush81

Wellington rents cool
“The median weekly rent in the Wellington region was up 10.4 per cent year-on-year to $530, a fall from January’s peak at $550 per week.”

Mr Clancy said while rents in the capital had cooled slightly, there were still “huge demand” with plenty of tenants looking for properties and inadequate supply. “We saw 7 per cent more enquiries for Wellington rentals in April this year compared to 2018. Meanwhile, the number of rentals onsite fell 16.5 per cent on the year prior.

“While prices have eased, it’s still very tough going if you’re looking for a flat in the capital.

“Wellington City rents also eased in April, with a median weekly rent of $575, down $20 on January’s record but that’s still an 8.5 per cent annual increase. While this is good news for tenants in the capital city, they’re still paying $10 more per week than their counterparts in Auckland,” he added.

The most popular rental in Wellington was a two-bedroom apartment in Mount Victoria which saw 93 enquiries in the first two days onsite.
Wellington’s most popular rental listings in April 2019

Rental addressSuburbEnquiries in first two days
1Austin StreetMount Victoria93
2Larchmont GroveTotara Park74
3High StreetAvalon68

Large houses in Wellington most expensive
“The median weekly rent for large houses (5+ bedrooms) in Wellington rose a significant 25.9 per cent year-on-year, closing in on the $1,000 mark at $995 per week. Making it the most expensive property type in the country.”

Medium houses (3-4 bedrooms) outside of Auckland reached a new record after climbing 7.8 per cent year-on-year to $485 in April.

Urban properties soar in Auckland
“Apartments, townhouses and units reached a new high in Auckland after the median rent rose 4.2 per cent year-on-year to $500 per week.”

Mr Clancy said townhouses in the Super City were the most expensive urban property type with a median rent of $650 per week.

“Townhouses are a good option for tenants particularly in Auckland as they are usually in a good inner-city location and are typically warmer, and drier.”

Mr Clancy added that units outside Auckland were at a record $340 per week in April, up 6.3 per cent year-on-year.


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