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Tenants in Wellington paying $60 more per week in rent

Tenants in Wellington are under pressure after the median rent in the region jumped $60 per week on the year prior to $550 per week in August, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index.

Trade Me Property’s Aaron Clancy said limited supply in the region is forcing tenants to dig deep into their pockets to pay rent with the number of rental properties available to rent in Wellington falling 11 per cent on the year prior. “Supply is the biggest issue in Wellington for both rentals and properties for sale. Without more rental properties coming onto the market we’re going to see prices increase further.

“As well as less supply, there are additional costs involved in meeting the new Healthy Homes standards which no doubt will have a run on effect with tenants having to pay higher rents."

Mr Clancy said this means renting in Wellington now costs the same as renting in Auckland with both regions reaching a median weekly rent of $550 per week.

“With rents in Wellington so high, it’s not surprising that we’ve seen an increasing number of tenants move out of the central city and into the traditionally quieter suburbs like Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt in search of cheaper rent.

“Now these, once cheaper suburbs are seeing record rents of their own.”

Mr Clancy said the median rent in Upper Hutt climbed a “staggering” 33 per cent on August 2018 to $485 per week while rents in Lower Hutt rose 14.6 per cent to a new record of $550 per week. Wellington City rents were up 9.6 per cent year-on-year to $570 and the median weekly rent in Porirua hit a new high after a 15 per cent jump to $570.

“The most popular rental in Wellington in August was a one-bedroom apartment on Courtney Place which had 58 enquiries in two days.”

Wellington’s most popular rental listings in Aug 2019

Rental addressSuburbEnquiries in first two days
1Courtenay PlaceWellington Central58
2Main RoadWainuiomata58
3Bluegum RoadParaparaumu Beach57

Auckland rents freeze

“The median weekly rent in Auckland remained unchanged on the year prior at $550 per week in August as Auckland rents continue to cool.

“The Auckland property market, including both for sale and for rent, has eased in recent months which will come as welcome news for buyers and tenants. Demand, on the other hand, was still on the rise with the number of enquiries on rental properties up 13 per cent on the year prior.”

Taking a closer look at the region, the median weekly rent in Auckland City was unchanged at $550 per week. In North Shore City rents rose 3 per cent year-on-year to $610. Waiheke Island reached a median weekly rent of $560, up 12 per cent on August 2018, and Rodney rose 2 per cent to $560.

Mr Clancy said the most popular rental in Auckland was a three-bedroom house in Flat Bush which saw 74 enquiries in the first two days onsite.

Auckland’s most popular rental listings in Aug 2019

Rental addressSuburbEnquiries in first two days
1Te Irirangi DriveFlat Bush74
2Kingsview RdMount Eden71
3Yearsley PlaceManurewa70

National median weekly rent rises

“The national median weekly rent rose 4.2 per cent on August last year to remain at $500 for a fifth consecutive month.”

Mr Clancy said the number of properties available for rent nationwide was down 8 per cent on the year prior while demand was up 9 per cent.

“The most popular rental property across New Zealand in August was a three-bedroom house in Northland. The house was advertised for $400 and had 94 enquiries in the first two days onsite.

“Around the regions, Otago hit a new record median weekly rent of $495 after climbing 10 per cent on last year. Southland saw the largest increase of 14.3 per cent year-on-year to $320 in August and Taranaki saw a 10.5 per cent jump to $420 per week.

“Meanwhile, Marlborough and Auckland saw no change on last year,” said Mr Clancy.

Rents rise across all house sizes

“The median weekly rent increased across all house sizes when compared to the year prior with rents for small houses (1-2 bedrooms) increasing 7.7 per cent to $420 per week. The median rent for medium houses (3-4 bedrooms) rose 4.8 per cent to $550, and rents for large houses (5+ bedrooms) jumped 6.3 per cent to $840 per week.”

Mr Clancy said the biggest increase was for small houses in Wellington which saw the median weekly rent rise 20 per cent on last year to $480 per week.

Townhouses are popular with tenants

Mr Clancy said the median weekly rent for townhouses saw the largest increase nationwide, rising 6.1 per cent to $520 in August.

“The only urban property type to see a decline was apartments in Christchurch which fell 3.5 per cent on August 2018 to $415 per week.”


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