National median rents hit record high of $515 per week, Trade Me says

Nationwide rents have hit the roof after the national median rent jumped to $515 per week in January.

Based on median weekly rents of Trade Me Property rental listings, last month, the cost to rent in New Zealand had risen by 4 percent compared to January 2018.

Although rental demand typically spikes in January as a result of tertiary students flooding the market, Aaron Clancy, head of rentals at Trade Me, said that every region in the country had experienced an annual lift in rent.  

Heading into 2020, the number of enquiries jumped and competition is compounded due to a continued shortage.

"Enquiries across the country rose 86 percent [compared to] December 2019.

"In January, we saw a 19 percent increase in the number of properties onsite, compared to December, Clancy said.

Wellington is still in the box seat for most expensive region to rent in 

Renting in Wellington is more costly than in Auckland and latest figures show that the capital continues to be the most expensive city for tenants.  

The median weekly rent in the Wellington region hit $575 per week in January  - an extra $25 compared to January 2019 - pipping the Auckland region at $570 and above Canterbury at $420.

January's weekly median rent in Wellington city rose to $600 per week, followed by Porirua at $560 and Upper Hutt at $550 per week - a new high for the city.

As rents in Wellington continue to skyrocket, the number of online listings for the region was up six percent last month compared to January 2019.  However, enquiries were up by 9 percent. 

"New Zealand's most popular January rental was a two bedroom house in Newtown, which had 159 enquiries in the first two days onsite," Clancy said.

"The suburb [had] New Zealand's top three rental properties [by number of enquiries]."

The most popular rentals sat on Riddiford Street, Daniell Street and Kenwyn Terrace, Newtown.

City of Sails hits new record high

Auckland's median weekly rent rose to $570 per week in January  - an extra $15 compared to January 2019, up 2.7 percent.

"In January, we saw a 19 percent lift in the number of enquiries compared to the year prior, while the number of properties available to rent was up 3 percent," Clancy said. 

Rents in the central city of Auckland increased by 4.5 percent year-on-year, to $575 per week, on-a-par with the Wellington region.

North Shore City had the highest median weekly rent in the region of $600 per week, Rodney sat at $570 per week and Manukau City had a median weekly rent of $560.

Auckland's most popular rentals were a property in Easton Park Parade in Glenfield, which fielded 110 enquiries in the first two days it was listed onsite.  A property in View Road, Mt Eden had 92 enquiries and another in West Hoe Road of Orewa had 85 enquiries.

Over 3000 views on unit in Mairangi Bay 

Earlier in January, a downstairs two-bedroom unit in Mairangi Bay listed with a negotiable rent of $460 to $490 per week was viewed 3000 times and had 30 enquiries in the first three days it was listed on Trade Me.  

Having spent over $100,000 on renovations which included splitting the once two-storey home into two separate dwellings, landlords Greg and Kathleen said that they were holding out for quiet, long-term tenants.

"The application form is quite comprehensive: we ask their family situation, where they work, their income, if they have children, how old they are and what they want.

"If they used to have a house, we know that's just temporary and we don't want someone who will keep moving," the landlords said.

"We also want someone suitable for the neighbours - because it's a unit, we don't want noisy people."

Whanganui rental market plays catch up

January's median rent in Whanganui was $360 per week, up by $55 (18 percent) compared to January 2019.

Growth in median rents, together with a sharp rise in enquiries suggest the region is playing catch up.

"The number of enquiries on rental properties rose 47 percent on the year prior," Clancy said.

Small to large home rent comparison

One-to-two bedroom homes nationwide had a weekly median rent increase of 7.5 percent year-on-year, to $430 per week.

The nationwide median weekly rent for three-to-four bedroom homes rose by 2.7 percent in January, to $565 per week, while large homes stayed at $850 per week.

Trade Me Rental Price Index with annual percentage change.
Trade Me Rental Price Index with annual percentage change. Photo credit: TradeMe


Apartments, townhouses and units

Last month, the nationwide  median rent for apartments increased by 3 percent compared to January 2019, to $495 per week.

Townhouses rose by 5 percent, to $550 and the median weekly rent for units increased by 2.5 percent, to $405.

"The median weekly rent for a unit in the capital rose 12 percent [year-on-year] to $470 per week," Clancy said.

The median weekly rent for an apartment in Auckland rose 5.1 percent year-on-year, to $520 per week and in Wellington and Christchurch, median rents for apartments took a slight dip, to $520 per week and $360 per week respectively.

With rents on the rise throughout the country and demand continuing to outstrip supply, renters looking to get ahead of the competition are advised to get in fast and have their information ready to go.