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Rents Start The Year At A Record High

Rent in Aotearoa kicked off 2023 at an all-time high, with the national median weekly rent reaching $595 in January according to the latest Trade Me Property data.

Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said the latest figures mark a 4 per cent, or $25, jump when compared with the same month in 2022. “This follows three stagnant months where the national median weekly rent remained at $580 throughout the last quarter of 2022.

“After this period of rents cooling off, January’s jump will be unpleasant news for renters around the country.”

Mr Lloyd said along with the new national record, the Auckland ($630), Bay of Plenty ($615), Marlborough ($550), Northland ($580), Taranaki ($580), Waikato ($540), and Wellington ($660) regions saw their highest median weekly rents of all-time last month.

“Looking at the year-on-year percentage change, the Northland (+16%), Taranaki (+14%), and Manawatū/Whanganui (13%) regions saw rents climb the furthest in January.”

Mr Lloyd said time would tell how the rental market would be impacted in those regions affected by the recent cyclone and flooding. “What we do know is that January marked the second month in a row where the median weekly rent in Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, and Northland reached a record high. And in the wake of the recent devastating weather events, we would expect supply to fall significantly in the coming months which will put more stress on the tenants in these regions.”

Supply sees a small jump

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Mr Lloyd said the number of rental listings nationwide increased by 1 per cent year-on-year in January. “While this is smaller than we have seen in previous months, this now marks 10 consecutive months of supply jumps.”

While nearly every region saw an increase in listings when compared with January 2022, Mr Lloyd said the biggest supply jumps were seen in the lower North Island. “Rental listings were up 52 per cent year-on-year in Manawatū/Whanganui and 40 per cent in Wellington.”

“The only regions to see a drop in listings were Southland (-21%), Auckland (-11%), and Otago (-4%).”

Mr Lloyd said like supply, demand also saw a jump in January. “Following three months of year-on-year downturns, last month demand picked back up with an 8 per cent year-on-year increase.”

Rents for urban properties reach new highs

The national median weekly rent for an urban property in Aotearoa jumped to a new high of $530 last month, climbing 6 per cent year-on-year. “Apartments ($525), townhouses ($630), and units ($480), all saw record-breaking national median rents in January.”

Mr Lloyd said the Wellington region was an outlier last month. “In the Capital, the median weekly rent for an urban property saw no change in 12 months, remaining at $590. If we break this down further, rents for units (-3%) and apartments (-2%) in the region actually fell year-on-year.”

Large property rents hit the $1,000 mark

Mr Lloyd said the national median weekly rent for large properties (5+ bedrooms) reached a milestone in January, jumping 8 per cent to $1,000 for the first time. “Medium properties (3-4 bedrooms) also hit a new high of $670, up 3 per cent in 12 months.

“Much like with urban property rental prices, the Wellington region was the odd one out, seeing its median weekly rent for large properties fall by 4 per cent in 12 months.” Rents for medium-sized properties in the region remained flat on the year prior, while the median weekly rent for small properties (1-2 bedrooms) in Wellington reached a new high of $580.”

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