Reports of high demand not translating to higher Auckland rents

Monday 7 March 2011

Despite press reports of skyrocketing rental demand in Auckland, rental prices appear to be holding steady according to the January Crockers Market Research.

By Benn Bathgate

In the two-bedroom market January saw a small average rental rise to $348, still below the $355 a week high recorded in October last year.

The three bedroom market saw more significant movement as prices fell to $455 per week after two months around the $470 level.

Nationwide there was little change across one, two, three and four-bedroom properties.

The average one bedroom weekly rental remained unchanged at $220, the two bedroom average was up 4% to $290, the three bedroom up 3% at $340 and the four-bedroom up 2% to $420.

While the average figures for Auckland and nationwide showed little change there were some large movements seen across the Auckland suburbs in the one, two, three and four bedroom markets.

The most significant fall in the one-bedroom market across January was recorded in East Coast Bays where average rents fall 27% from $315 to $230. The biggest weekly price rise in the one-bedroom market was seen in Sandringham, where rents increased 13% from $240 to $270.

The biggest rent price rise in the two-bedroom market was seen in Remuera, up 18% from  $372 to $440. The biggest fall was in Devonport, where rents fell 25% from $480 to $362.

The three-bedroom market saw a narrower range of price movements, with rents up 10% in Devonport (up to $550), Te Atatu ($400), Sandringham ($440) and Pukekohe ($330).

The biggest fall in the three-bedroom market was seen in the City Centre (Parnell, Grafton, Newton), down 7% from $550 to $512.

Waterview (Avondale and Titirangi) saw the biggest rent rises for four-bedroom properties, up 27% from $425 to $540.

The biggest falls were seen in Papakura and Pukekohe, both down 5% to $400 and $360 respectively.

When it came to residential property sales in January Crockers reported the slowest start to the year since 2006 with just 1115 properties changing hands - breaking the record low set last January.

The number of new listings to market was also at its lowest level since 2006.

While January's prices were also down on any year since 2006 they seem to be stabilising, with the median price down just 1% on December at $450,000.

Crockers figures for median sales prices and sales numbers also revealed some stark variations across different Auckland suburbs.

The biggest median sales price fall in January was recorded in Upper Harbour, down 25% from $560,000 to $420,000.

The largest increases were seen in Mt Eden/Epsom and Franklin, both up 14% to $725,500 and $393,000 respectively.

The biggest percentage movements seen in sales numbers were recorded in Upper Harbour, with sales up 89% on 2009 (17 sales recorded in 2010 against nine in 2009), with the biggest fall in percentage terms in the Waitakeres, down 67% (one sale in 2010 against three in 2009).

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