Rent for “typical” NZ house hits all-time high

Friday 17 March 2017

The median weekly rent for a “typical” New Zealand house hit $500 for the first time ever in February, new Trade Me Property rental data reveals.

By Miriam Bell

A “typical” rental property is considered to be three to four bedrooms -  and such properties make up nearly half of all those listed for rent on Trade Me Property.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said rents on such properties have lifted by over 30% in the past five years.

“Back in 2012, tenants were forking out $380 a week for a place with three or four bedrooms. Fast-forward to today’s rental market and there’s an additional $6,000 on their yearly bill.”

The Bay of Plenty saw the biggest five-year increase (up $6,500) in median weekly rent for three to four bedroom properties.

Auckland was next in line, with a rise of $5,460 over five years.

However, the data also showed the annual change for median weekly rent across all property types stayed largely unchanged in February.

Jeffries said the median weekly rent came in at $450 a week across the country in February.

“That has remained steady for the past three months. Even so, it’s a 5% rise on a year ago, and means tenants can expect to be paying an extra $20 a week.”

Median weekly rents continue to rise steadily across the country with the exception of the Canterbury region.

Jeffries said some of the more notable rises this month are in the South Island, with big lifts for the West Coast and Marlborough.

But Auckland’s ongoing halo effect also pushed the median weekly rent in Northland to a new record high of $350 in February. This was a year-on-year increase of 12.5%.

In contrast, the rental market in Christchurch is “struggling for traction”, Jeffries said.

“The situation in the Garden City could not be more different to the rest of New Zealand.

“For the past year, the rental market has been static, holding steady at $400 a week before slipping again last month to $395.”

Median weekly rent in Christchurch has fallen by 20%, or $100 a week, in the last two years.

Jeffries said this has come after a rise of $95 per week between February 2013 and February 2015.

“It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the city, as the rebuild activities continue to send ripples through the market.”

Meanwhile, the Wellington rental market continues to struggle with a “significant imbalance” between low supply and heavy demand, he added.

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