Regional rents heading up

Thursday 27 April 2017

Regional landlords are now benefitting from rising rents in markets around the country, Trade Me Property’s new rental data reveals.

By Miriam Bell

Rents are on the rise nationwide – not just in Auckland and Wellington, according to Trade Me Property’s latest Rental Price Index.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said while recent reports have focused on rising costs in metropolitan areas, smaller regions have also seen sizeable increases.

“Back in March 2014, the median weekly rent outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch was $310 a week.

“Today, that figure has jumped to $370 a week, up 20% and adding just over $3,000 to the annual rental bill for tenants.”

In comparison, the average asking price for similar properties in the for sale market rose by 29%, Jefferies said.

“This shows us that outside of the main metro areas, landlords are just as keen to make sure rents keep pace with property values to keep their investment yields steady.”

Trade Me Property’s data shows that outside the three major cities, the median rent has increased for each of the last 12 months.

It was up 5.7% year-on- year to a record high of $370 a week.

The data also shows that weekly rent increases of 9 to 10% are being seen throughout many of the larger regions of the North Island.

This trend was particularly evident in Northland and the Bay of Plenty which both saw new record rent highs.

Northland rents were up by 10.1% year-on-year to hit $380, while rents in the Bay of Plenty were up by 10% year-on-year to reach $440.

Bay of Plenty landlords are sitting particularly pretty as rents across the region have jumped a staggering 40% (up from $315) over the last three years.

Meanwhile, the Hawke’s Bay and Wellington both came in at just under 10% year-on- year growth with median weekly rents of $350 and $450 respectively.

However, contrary to public opinion, in Auckland rents have eased over the last month.

The Super City’s median asking rent was down by $5 to $515 in March. This equated to a year-on-year rise of just 3.0%.

Canterbury continues to be the region which defies the national trend of rising rents.

Median weekly rents in Canterbury were down 3.7% year-on-year to $395.

Jefferies said Canterbury’s rent decline is now in its 20th consecutive month, with its last year-on- year rise way back in March 2015.

For the region’s biggest city, Christchurch, the rental market also continues to move in the opposite direction to the rest of New Zealand.

Jeffries said the flow of new rental properties replacing those demolished has significantly affected the structure of the market.

“It’s become a familiar story that the Garden City’s rental market is doing its own thing.

"In March, the median weekly rent for 3 and 4-bedroom properties slipped back to $435, its lowest point for four years.

“This is down 3.3% in the past year and a staggering 22% down from the most recent peak in March 2015, where it briefly topped $560.”

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