New figures from real estate agency Barfoot & Thompson show the average weekly rent in Auckland reached a new high in December, a massive $595.
The data, which is based on rent paid during the month for around 16,500 properties managed by the agency, shows the average weekly rent price has increased 2 percent year-on-year. That equates to about $12 more each week or $624 a year.
The increase is about on pace with the 2.1 percent year-on-year increase from December 2019.
"We have long suspected the market would hit the $600 mark during 2020. And while this was dampened somewhat by the effects of lockdown, the momentum continued among newly signed tenancies," said Barfoot & Thompson director Kiri Barfoot.
"Activity during this quarter was also not constrained by the rent freeze, which ended in late September, and we’ve seen a slight lift in average prices across the board."
In March 2020, the Government announced a rent increase freeze in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The freeze lasted until September.
The data highlights that eastern Auckland suburbs on average are the most expensive at $675 a week. That's followed by properties on the North Shore and then central suburbs.
The biggest year-on-year increase was for homes in south Auckland, while the average weekly rent for central Auckland properties decreased by 1.9 percent.
Barfoot said three-bedroom homes - which make up the majority of the city's rental stock and are often used as a market benchmark - attracted rents of $597 per week in December, up 2.6 percent.
She said property managers are reporting increased activity and interest in listings, with a high number of potential tenants attending viewings.
"The number of available properties is fairly steady, however interest and competition for properties appears to be on the up.
"And while we are seeing some owners choosing to exit the market, we are also seeing an increase in the number of rental appraisal requests from new investors, which is promising."