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Rents Continue To Drop While Supply Spikes

The national median weekly rent for a property took a dive for the second month in a row in June, while supply remained strong according to Trade Me’s latest Rental Price Index.

Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said the national median rent fell by 1 per cent month-on-month in June, to $570 per week. “This marks the first time we have ever seen the national median weekly rent dip for two consecutive months.

“With the national median rent now sitting at $10 less than its all-time high last seen in April, it’s clear we are no longer in the same market as we were last year, where rents grew relentlessly as supply struggled to keep up with demand.”

Mr Lloyd said the largest rent drops were seen in the Wellington and Southland regions, where rents fell 2 per cent month-on-month. “In the Waikato region, the median weekly rent fell one per cent on May, while the Auckland, Otago, Nelson/Tasman and Northland regions all saw no change.”

However, Mr Lloyd said not every region felt rental price relief in June, with the Bay of Plenty ($610) and Hawke’s Bay ($575) both seeing their highest median weekly rents of all-time.

While June’s national median weekly rent marked a drop on the month prior, Mr Lloyd said it jumped 5 per cent when compared with the same month in 2021.

Nationwide supply jumps 11 per cent

When compared with the same month in 2021, Mr Lloyd said the number of rental listings across the country jumped 11 per cent in June. “We have seen supply remain strong for the past few months and this is what is really behind those price drops. Renters have more options and landlords are dropping prices to compete.

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“As we previously saw in May, Wellington continued to lead the charge, seeing the biggest jump in rental market supply in June, up 51 per cent year-on-year.”

Mr Lloyd said the Manawatu/Whanganui (up 21%) and Auckland (up 15%) regions also had standout months seeing supply skyrocket.

Otago saw a whopping 40 per cent drop while Nelson/Tasman saw a drop of 20 per cent and Taranaki supply fell by 18 per cent.

Demand for rentals dropped when compared with the previous year, falling 9 per cent in June. “The biggest drops in demand were seen in Nelson/Tasman (down 32%), Taranaki (down 26%) and Otago (down 25%).”

Auckland rents sit at $600 for third month

The Auckland region’s median weekly rent was $600 for the third row in the month in June, increasing by 2 per cent year-on-year. “When compared with the region’s record-high median weekly rent first recorded in January, this marked a slight drop of $10 per week.”

Mr Lloyd said the most expensive Auckland districts in May were North Shore City ($650), Papakura ($630), and Rodney ($625).

“The most popular rental listing in the Auckland region last month was a two-bedroom house on Hillsborough Road in Hillsborough.” Mr Lloyd said the property had a weekly rent of $550 and received 236 watchlists in its first seven days onsite.

Wellington rents fall by $50 in 6 months

In the Wellington region, the median weekly rent rose 1 per cent year-on-year to reach $600 in June. “When compared with the prior month, however, this marked a drop of 2 per cent for the region. This is quite a drop when compared with Wellington’s all-time high of $650 last seen in February.”

The highest median weekly rent in the region was seen in Porirua ($695), followed by Wellington City, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt districts which all saw a median weekly rent of $600.

“Last month's most popular listing in the Wellington region was a three-bedroom house on Maungaraki Road in Lower Hutt. The $650-a-week property was watchlisted 170 times in its first seven days onsite.”

Apartment and townhouse rents cool off in the main centres

Mr Lloyd said townhouses in the main centres saw no change in median weekly rent when compared with June 2021. “The median weekly rent for apartments in Auckland was also flat year-on-year in June, while in Wellington they fell 4 per cent when compared with the same month last year.”

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