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Quarterly Rental Update: New Tenancies Drive Growth In Average Weekly Rent

While the usual pace of growth was limited by the Government-mandated rent freeze, new residential tenancy agreements signed during the last quarter continued to nudge Auckland’s average weekly rent upwards.

According to data from around 16,500 Auckland properties managed by Barfoot & Thompson for the quarter ending 30 September, the average weekly rent rose to $589 – $9 ahead of the same time last year and an increase of 1.79 per cent.

Prior to the first lockdown and six-month freeze on rents between 26 March and 25 September, the average weekly rent typically rose by around to 3.00 per cent year-on-year.

“While this quarter’s increase is well under the usual pace we have observed over the past year, it shows that growth has continued among new tenancies, which were not subject to the freeze,” says Barfoot & Thompson Director Kiri Barfoot.

The number of new tenancies was also up substantially on last year, which magnified their effect.

Across the city around 150 more homes, or nearly 40 per cent more properties, were let during September alone.

New tenancies were now priced around 3 per cent higher on average than last year, with the average rent reaching $601 per week.

“This is more in keeping with the usual pace of increase we see across Auckland, and is indicative of two things: these new rents are continuing to follow the previous trends, but landlords – on the whole – are not rushing to rachet up prices unrealistically or bake-in future increases too hastily.

Across all rental properties, by region, Rodney and South Auckland saw the average rent rise slightly more than the norm for the quarter, while Central City properties dipped back slightly to an average closer to late 2018 and early 2019 pricing.

By size, three-bedroom homes rose slightly more as the most popular format, while homes with five or more bedrooms experienced the least price growth.

Figures just through for October – which was entirely outside the rent freeze period – suggest a similar trend is continuing into the new quarter.

The average weekly rent at the end of October was up $2 on September’s to $591, increasing by 1.73 per cent year-on-year.

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