Trade Me’s latest Rental Price Index shows the national median weekly rent matched the record high – first seen in July – and rose 8% on the same time last year.
Records were broken in Southland ($395), Waikato ($500), Bay of Plenty ($560) and Canterbury ($490).
Trade Me property sales director Gavin Lloyd says prices were expected to slow considering tenants and landlords were stuck at home for most of the month. Instead, the rental market charged on.
Every region in the country had an annual increase in rent.
Unlike house prices, the alert level restrictions resulted in a marked drop in both market supply and demand last month, as prospective tenants could not view or visit properties.
There was an 18% drop in the number of properties listed for rent onsite across the country when compared with the same month last year.
Southland was the only region to flout this, with a 10% increase in supply when compared with the same month last year.
National demand also dropped by 16% year-on-year in August, mirroring what has happened in past lockdowns.
There were some exceptions. Marlborough (11%), Bay of Plenty (4%), Canterbury (3%) and Manawatū/Whanganui (2%) had increases in demand last month when compared with August last year.
Lloyd says he expects the rental market to make a quick recovery.
“It has been running hot since coming out of the first nationwide lockdown last year, despite many predicting it would slow down.
“We’re expecting this time won’t be any different and we’ll see listing numbers make a swift recovery in the next couple of months.”
The median weekly rent in the Wellington region was $600 in August, up 9% year-on-year.
This is only the second time rents have reached the $600 bracket after reaching an all-time high of $615 in January.
The median weekly rent in Wellington City was also sitting at $600. The median weekly rent in Porirua was higher than the city last month, at $650.
After overtaking Wellington City for the first time in July, the median weekly rent in Upper Hutt was $595 last month, making it the third most expensive district in the region.
Demand for rentals in the Wellington region was down by 25% last month when compared with the same month last year, while supply was down by 16%.
Auckland’s median rent
In the Auckland region, the median weekly rent in August remained at $595 for the second month in a row.
“This marks a 4% increase on the same month last year,” says Lloyd.
Auckland City’s median weekly rent was $570. The most expensive districts in the region were North Shore City ($630), Papakura ($620) and Manukau ($605).