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Rental Update: Auckland Rents Start Year On The Rise; Plus - The Latest ‘Pet-friendly Rental’ Data

Auckland rents edged up again in the first three months of 2024. Barfoot & Thomspon says pricing data from more than 17,500 properties the agency manages across the region shows the average weekly rent reached $671.35 in March 2024, up 5.69% on the same time last year.

This surpasses a 5.27% year-on-year increase recorded in December 2023 which, at the time, was the highest since 2015.

Barfoot & Thompson’s General Manager for Property Management Samantha Arnold says the numbers indicate the market has entered a new pricing cycle.

“Over the past six to nine months the Auckland rental market has been emerging from a slower period of pricing change after hovering around 3% year-on-year for some time.

“What we are seeing now is more familiar to the market pace experienced eight to ten years ago, in 2014 to 2016.”

She says the tension between high demand for rental properties and constrained supply continued to be a major factor.

“This is not a new dynamic for Auckland, but it has been compounded by several coinciding factors including the return of long-term visitors and international students, record high net migration and the ongoing impact of 2023’s extreme weather events, which saw more people in need of housing and fewer houses available due to storm damage.”

Property owners have also been grappling with higher interest and operating costs, says Arnold, with relief through interest deductibility and tenancy rule changes still to come into effect.

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Across the region, rents rose fastest in the Central City apartment market as it continued its post-Covid rebound. The average rent there reached $573.74 in March, up 8.56% on 2023. Rents rose slowest in Rodney, up 3.75% or $24.23 on March 2023, to $670.07.

By size, one-bedroom properties attracted higher rent rises, up 6.87% on last year, while three-bedroom properties saw less price pressure than other sized homes, up 5.00%.

The latest data on renting with pets

Barfoot & Thompson tracks a number of property attributes across the agency’s rental portfolio, including whether a rental is ‘pet friendly’.

“The Government recently announced several changes to the Rental Tenancies Act related to pets, prompting us to take a look at what’s happening in the market now, prior to the changes coming into effect,” says Arnold.

“The latest figures show that around 14% of Auckland rentals allow pets. This equates to around 2,500 properties of the 17,500 plus that we manage in Auckland.

“We’ve been providing advice and guidance about renting with pets to both our property owners and renters over many years to encourage growth and are excited by what the latest changes to the Act will mean for renter choice and property owner confidence.”

The data shows the North Shore had the highest proportion of pet-friendly rentals as of March 2024, with around 21% of properties welcoming pets, while it was hardest to find a pet friendly rental in Central Auckland apartments, where less than 2% of properties allowed them.

Comparing average weekly rents between properties that do and don’t allow pets, Barfoot & Thompson also found that pet friendly rentals were already drawing a premium of around 10% more than the average for a home in the same area, however this varied greatly between different parts of the city.

“City and city fringe properties were priced around 20% to 40% higher when pets were allowed. However, that pricing may also reflect those properties, such as apartments, are typically less suited to pets, so those that allow them may be larger or unique in a way that naturally demands a higher price.”

Pet lovers in Pakuranga and Howick pay the lowest premium to rent with their furry friends, just 1.12% higher than the local average.

“Another thing we noted is the contrast between the number of fenced properties which can be a particularly important factor for dog owners.

“Fewer than 2% of rental properties were listed as fenced. And while we expect the real number is higher, it highlights an aspect renters and property owners need to consider before deciding if a home is suitable for some types of pets.”

The tables above are based on statistics drawn from a portfolio of approximately 17,500 Auckland-based rental properties managed by Barfoot & Thompson during March 2024. This includes both existing and newly signed tenancies.

Monthly rental statistic reports are also available on the Barfoot & Thompson website under ‘Market Reports’.

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