Wellington rents riding high

Thursday 29 November 2018

Rents are on the rise in markets around the country – but it is Wellington’s rental market which is running red hot, new Trade Me Property data shows.

By The Landlord

Wellington’s median weekly rent rose by 10% year-on-year to hit $495 per week in October, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index.

Further, the median weekly rent in Wellington City is just $10 behind Auckland City, after climbing 10.2% on last year to $540.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries says that rents in Wellington typically start heating up in December but this year the summer rush has kicked off early.

“Demand in the capital is massive. It’s just the beginning too, summer is around the corner and rents look set to break the $500 mark for the first time.

However, the Capital’s tight rental supply situation has eased slightly of late.

Jeffries says there are 6% more rental properties onsite than last October and there has been a 15% boost in the number of listings.

“This should be easing some rental pressure. But the demand is extraordinary and it’s showing no sign of letting up.”

Competition for rental properties is only going to increase as more tenants do the traditional ‘summer shift’ as tenancies come up for review and university students come to town, he adds.

In contrast, both the national median weekly rent and Auckland’s median weekly rent remained unchanged for the seventh month in a row.

The national median rent is sitting at an all-time high of $480 per week, which is 6.7% up on October 2017.

Auckland’s median rent has stayed firm at $550 per week, which is an increase of 4.8% year-on-year.

Jeffries says that rents in Auckland have remained relatively flat over most of 2018, but demand is increasing – with Manukau currently attracting the most enquiries.

“We are expecting they’ll heat up in the summer months as tertiary students return and supply continues to battle to meet demand.

“We predict Auckland rents will get very close to the $600 mark early next year.”

But while Auckland’s rents continue to flat line, that was not the case in other markets around the country.

Rents in Northland (up 10.5% to $420) and Waikato (up 6.3% to $420) reached new highs in October, creeping closer to the prices of the nearby Super City.

The median weekly rent in Whanganui (up 13.3% $340) was another region to break a record in October while every other region saw a year-on-year increase.

Jeffries says supply is struggling to keep up with demand across the country after a 3% drop in the number of rental listings year-on-year.

“With rising house prices, we suspect it’s taking Kiwis longer to save for a deposit and as a result many are having to stay in rentals longer.”

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