PHOTO: Trade Me
Wellington city’s rental prices continued their incredible growth in January with the average rent hitting an all-time high of $595 per week, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index.
Trade Me’s Head of Rentals Aaron Clancy said tenants in Wellington city were now paying $45 more a week than their Auckland city counterparts. “Wellington city rents have exploded in recent months and tenants are being asked to dig deep into their pockets to live in the capital.”
“It’s a simple supply and demand equation – the supply around Wellington is just not keeping up and it’s even tougher at this time of year as students move back for the university year and ramp the demand up further.
“It’s not just the city where rents are increasing either, the average rent across the Wellington region jumped $30 from December to January and was up 10 per cent on last year to a record $550 per week. This is a significant monthly increase and tenants are going to be feeling the pinch.”
“In January, the number of Wellington rentals onsite dipped 4 per cent year-on-year, alongside a 7 per cent increase in the total number of enquiries. As a result, we’re seeing heavy interest in Wellington rental listings within hours of appearing onsite.
“The most popular rental in New Zealand in January was a one-bedroom unit in Newtown near the city which fetched 146 enquiries in just two days onsite.”
Table 3: Wellington’s most popular rental listings in January 2019
Enquiries in first 2 days
Auckland tenants face record rents
“Renters in Auckland are also feeling the pinch after the median rent in the region reached a new record in January, up 2.8 per cent on last year to $555 per week.”
Mr Clancy said January was a busy time for the Auckland rental market, with 15 per cent more enquiries than the year prior.
“The median weekly rent in Auckland city remained at its all-time high of $550 per week in January, unchanged on last year. We’re seeing a lot of tenants in Auckland look further afield than the central city in search of cheaper rents.
“The most popular Auckland rental in January was a three-bedroom home in Northcote which received 101 enquiries in the first two days onsite.”
Table 2: Auckland’s most popular rental listings in January 2019
Enquiries in first 2 days
National rent hits an all-time high
Mr Clancy said New Zealand’s national median rent rose 5.3 per cent in January to an all-time high of $495 per week.
“It’s not just the cities where tenants are facing record-breaking rents – nationwide we saw a 16 per cent jump in the total number of enquiries year-on-year. Rising house prices mean first home buyers are taking longer to save for a house deposit and tenants are renting for longer which is putting pressure on supply.”
Along with Auckland and Wellington, Waikato and Nelson/Tasman hit new highs after climbing 7.5 per cent to $430 and 4.9 per cent to $430 respectively.
Mr Clancy said rentals in Taranaki were in hot demand with an 87 per cent increase in the total number of enquiries when compared to the year prior. Southland was seeing even more demand with a 92 per cent increase in enquiries.
Houses in hot demand
“Large houses (5+ bedrooms) across the country were popular in January with the median rent rising 6.3 per cent to $840 per week.”
Mr Clancy said the largest jump in rent was for medium houses (3-4 bedrooms) in Wellington which increased 7.5 per cent year-on-year to $645 per week.
Apartments, townhouses and units popular
“Across the country, apartments, townhouses and units are becoming increasingly popular with Kiwis and the median rent for these urban properties was up 5.9 per cent on last year to $450 per week.”
Mr Clancy said all urban property types saw increases in median weekly rent compared to January 2018, with apartments up 2.1 per cent to $480, townhouses up 8.3 per cent to $520, and units saw a 3.9 per cent jump to $395.
“Townhouses in Wellington saw the largest increase in January, climbing 15.3 per cent to $600 per week. When we compare that to the median weekly rent of medium (3-4 bedrooms) and large (5+ bedrooms) houses in the region at $645 and $1,050, townhouses are a much cheaper option for Wellingtonians.”
Trade Me Media Release