Rents increasing at twice the rate of inflation - Statistics NZ

Rents are going up more than twice as fast as inflation, new figures from Statistics NZ show.

In the 12 months to May, the average price of a rental property rose 3.4 percent. This includes existing tenancies. The cost of a new rental went up 3.9 percent.

Inflation is at 1.5 percent, according to the Reserve Bank. Over the last eight years it's fluctuated between 0.4 and 2.2 percent.

The biggest jump in prices for a new rental was seen in Wellington - up 7.5 percent in a year. That's down from 11.3 percent last month, with a slight backsliding in prices between April and May.

The South Island excluding Canterbury saw prices rise 7.1 percent, and the North Island excluding Wellington and Auckland 5.7 percent.

Keeping the average down were Auckland, where prices only rose 1.3 percent, and Canterbury, 2.9 percent.

Statistics NZ figures show rents are going up at a constant rate, with year-on-year hikes between 3.3 and 3.4 percent being recorded every month since January.

In contrast, food was only up 1.7 percent, with fruit and vegetables actually 2 percent cheaper than they were a year ago.