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Rental prices continue their surge toward summer

The rush to lock in a rental property before summer saw the nationwide median weekly rent rise 4.2 per cent on last year to $500 in November, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index.

Trade Me Property’s Aaron Clancy said the number of properties available to rent was fairly flat compared to last year while demand, on the other hand, was up 17 per cent.

“The pace of rent growth across the country will be alarming for a lot of tenants and the trend we’re seeing now suggests the peak season in summer is going to deliver some new price records. Demand for rentals has increased enormously year-on-year and until there’s a spike in supply high rents will be the new normal.”

Regional demand remains strong
Mr Clancy said regional rents were continuing to head north at a strong rate, reflecting the ongoing rise in property prices that is keeping people in the rental market for longer.

“If you exclude Auckland from the picture, the nationwide median rent rose 7.1 per cent compared to November 2018 and we’ve been seeing some strong monthly numbers in the regions that often align with property prices rising. For example, rents in the Manawatu/Whanganui region and Nelson/Tasman are up by 15.2 and 9.8 per cent year-on-year respectively, which is a close reflection of the average asking price results (16.7 and 7 per cent) we released on Monday for the same period.”

Wellington on track to overtake Auckland
“While Auckland is still the most expensive region to rent, the median weekly rent in Wellington registered a solid 10 per cent jump, or $50 per week, on last year to $550 and it wouldn’t be surprising to see it take out top spot in the coming months,” Mr Clancy said.

“Wellington City itself is now firmly cemented as the most expensive urban centre to rent in, with a median rent of $585 a week, well ahead of Auckland City at $560 and Christchurch City at just $415.

“Unsurprisingly, Wellington was also home to the most popular rental property across New Zealand in November. A two-bedroom house in Brooklyn took out the top spot, going for $395 a week, had 81 enquiries in the first two days onsite.”

Wellington’s most popular rental listings in Nov 2019

Rental addressSuburbEnquiries in first 2 days
1Mitchell StreetBrooklyn81
2Overtoun TerraceHataitai75
3Hewer CrescentNaenae75

Auckland rental prices rise
Mr Clancy said Auckland’s median weekly rent was $560 in November 2019, up $10 year-on-year from November 2018. While most areas saw small increases, Waiheke Island broke the mould with a 14.3 per cent jump on last year as median rents hit $600 a week.

“There is still decent demand in the Auckland market. The number of enquiries on rental properties in the region rose 21 per cent on November 2018.”
Auckland’s most popular rental listings in Nov 2019

Rental addressSuburbEnquiries in first 2 days
1Manukau CityHillcrest Road58
2Auckland CityArthur Street58
3Manukau CityCottrell Place53

Small houses see rent jump
Mr Clancy said the median weekly rent had increased across all house sizes compared to November last year with rents for small houses increasing the most, up 7.5 per cent to $430 per week. Excluding the Auckland region, weekly rent for medium-sized homes (3-4 bedrooms) reached a new high of $495.

Wellington apartments and townhouses in hot demand
Mr Clancy said rents are up across the board for apartments, townhouses and units in New Zealand’s urban centres.

“While Auckland saw some small lifts, rents for Wellington apartments and townhouses both saw double-digit growth compared with last November.”

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