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Regional Rents On The Rise While City Rents Remain Stagnant

Strong rent growth in the regions drove the national median weekly rent up 2 per cent year-on-year in February, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index.

Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said every region across the country saw a year-on-year increase in median weekly rent in February and the biggest increases were seen in Manawatu/Whanganui (16%), Hawke’s Bay (15%), and Taranaki (13%).

“Many of our provinces experienced record-breaking rents in February with Gisborne ($535), Hawke’s Bay ($530), Marlborough ($480), and Waikato ($485) all hitting new highs. Northland also had a standout month, with the median weekly rent hitting $500 for the first time.”

Mr Lloyd said increasing interest for rentals in the regions was driving prices up. “Demand for rental properties in Marlborough rose a staggering 46 per cent, Northland was up 35 per cent and Manawatu/Whanganui rose 17 per cent on last year. The provinces are becoming increasingly popular for some tenants and with more Kiwis able to work remotely since Covid, this is a trend that will likely continue for the foreseeable future.

Nationally, Mr Lloyd said demand was down by 3 per cent when compared with February last year, while supply was up by 6 per cent. “This marks the second month in a row we have seen supply outweighing demand. If this continues we may well see prices cool off as we head into winter, which will be welcome news for renters around the country.”

Auckland rents show no month-on-month change

“If we take a look at the median weekly rents in the main centres it’s interesting to see they bucked the trend and lagged behind in February.”

In the Auckland region, the median weekly rent was $590 for the second month in a row last month, jumping 4 per cent when compared with February last year. “Auckland City’s median weekly rent, however, saw no change when compared with February 2020, at $570.”

The number of available rentals in the Auckland region was up by 11 per cent year-on-year in February while demand was down 4 per cent. “With supply in Auckland finally meeting demand, it’s not surprising that we have seen rental price growth slow in the region.

“The most expensive districts in the region were Rodney ($645), North Shore City ($625) and Manukau ($600).”

Auckland’s most expensive districts in February (* new record)

DistrictMedian weekly rent
North Shore City$625
Manukau $600*

“The most popular rental listing in the region was a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house on Burtons Drive in Samson, Waitakere City. The property was listed for $580 per week.”

Wellington rents up 2 per cent

Mr Lloyd said it was the same story in the Capital, with the wider region seeing an increase while city rents remained stagnant. “The Wellington region’s median weekly rent increased by 2 per cent year-on-year to $580, while in Wellington City it was flat compared to last year staying at $600.

“Despite this, Wellington City continues to be the region’s most expensive district. Tenants in Wellington city will be pleased to see the rents plateau a little - rent increases around the Capital have been massive in the last 12-18 months.”

Wellington’s most expensive districts in February

DistrictMedian weekly rent
Wellington City$600
Lower Hutt$580

Demand for rentals in the Wellington region was down by 12 per cent last month when compared with February 2020, while supply was flat year-on-year.

“The most popular rental in the region last month was a four-bedroom apartment on Majoribanks Street, Mount Victoria, for $880 per week.”

Record-breaking month for large rentals

Mr Lloyd said rent for large houses (5+ bedrooms) reached an all-time high in February at $900 per week. “The median weekly rent for all house sizes saw year-on-year increases in every region, with the exception of 5+ bedroom houses outside of Auckland (-2%) and in Wellington (-8%).”

Unit rents reach an all-time high

The median weekly rent for units reached an all-time high of $435 in February. “On the other hand, the national median weekly rent for apartments fell by 3 per cent year-on-year to $485 last month.”

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