Wellington City rents now match Auckland City for the first time, after the median rent in the capital rose 5.8 per cent on last year to $550 per week in November, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index.
Head of Trade Me Rentals Aaron Clancy said rents in Wellington City had been hot on the trail of Auckland City for some time now. “Rents in the capital have been running hot and looking ahead to the busy January and February period, and we think Wellington City is a chance of overtaking Auckland City in the battle for the most expensive place to rent.
“Rents in the Wellington region cracked $500 in November after climbing 6.4 per cent on last year. Demand for rentals in the capital is showing no sign of slowing down, with 12 of the region’s rentals in the country’s 20 most popular rentals in November.”
Mr Clancy said the Wellington rental market is still struggling to keep up with demand. “In November there were 4 per cent fewer rentals in Wellington than the year prior. We’re also seeing sharp dips in Lower Hutt and Porirua which are down 14 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.”
Mr Clancy said Wellington’s most popular rental in November was a family home in Johnsonville which had 117 enquiries in its first two days onsite.
National rent unchanged
Mr Clancy said the national median weekly rent was unchanged for the fourth month in a row, camped out at $480 per week, but still up 4.3 per cent on last year.
“Most regions across New Zealand saw a year-on-year increase in November with strong double-digit growth in Gisborne, Otago, Southland and Hawke’s Bay.”
Median weekly asking rents in Taranaki and Hawke’s Bay reached new records at $390 and $425 respectively.
“In November, we saw a 6 per cent drop in the number of properties for rent onsite, with dips in the three main centres. Auckland was down 2.4 per cent on November last year, Wellington down 4.4 per cent, and Christchurch down 15 per cent.
“The New Zealand rental market will be one to watch in the coming months after the recent ban on letting fees for rental properties. It’s likely we will see this expense passed on through rent increases so tenants may need to dig deep into their pockets in the New Year.”
Auckland – the city that sleeps
Mr Clancy said the median weekly rent in Auckland has stayed put for the eighth month at $550, up 3.8 per cent on last year.
“After solid rent increases throughout 2017, the heat has come off the Auckland rental market. As we head into the New Year, lots of leases are up for renewal and students return before the university year kicks off, so we should see rents begin to rise again – particularly in the inner-city.”
Mr Clancy said Papatoetoe was the place to rent in the Super City during November, with the region’s top three most popular rentals all in the South Auckland suburb.
Otago rents heat up
Mr Clancy said the median weekly rent in Otago was up 11.3 per cent on last year to $418 in November as tenants struggled to find properties. “Otago’s rental shortage is keeping prices high – in November there were 20 per cent less rental properties onsite than the year prior as the region struggles to keep up with demand.”
The median weekly rent in Dunedin was up 8.3 per cent on last year to $390.
Rent for small houses heads north
“Small houses (1-2 bedrooms) had the largest annual increase in median rents in November after climbing 8.1 per cent to $400. Medium houses (3-4 bedrooms) were up 2.6 per cent to $530 and large houses (5+ bedrooms) were up 6.3 per cent year-on-year to $797,” Mr Clancy said.
He said small houses in Wellington were “the hot favourite” for tenants, helping the median weekly rent rise 12.8 per cent on last November to $440. Large houses were the only property type to dip in the capital, falling 3.6 per cent to $920.
Units in Wellington on the rise
“Units in Wellington have seen the largest annual increase of any urban property after a 12.9 per cent jump in median weekly rent to reach $395,” Mr Clancy said. “On the other hand, townhouses in the capital dipped 2.4 per cent on last year, down to $500 per week in November.”
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