Rents rising nearly twice as fast as decade-high inflation, latest data shows

Rents are up almost 8 percent on where they were a year ago, outpacing inflation as they usually do, according to the latest figures from Trade Me Property.

The silver lining is they haven't gone up further from the all-time median high they hit in October of $560 per week. 

"While tenants around the country will be relieved to hear rents have not reached yet another record high, we’re still seeing substantial year-on-year growth and it’s a tough market for renters," said Trade Me Property sales director Gavin Lloyd.

All-time highs were hit in Bay of Plenty ($520) Gisborne ($570), Manawatū/Whanganui ($480), and Marlborough ($485). 

In some parts of the country, the annual increase was over 10 percent - including Canterbury, Hawke's Bay and Northland. 

Auckland's median rent of $600 stays where it was in October. In the city it's $590, while the asking prices on the North Shore average $650 and Manukau $620. 

Wellington's median also stayed where it was in October at $620. In the city it's $630, down from $645, while Porirua is the most expensive part of the region at $650. Demand was up 10 percent and supply down 3 percent, partly explaining the increase. 

In the country's third-biggest city Christchurch, rents jumped 10.6 percent in a year to $470. 

The nationwide median was pushed up by double-digit percentage increases for large homes (five bedrooms-plus) in Wellington, medium-sized homes (three-four bedrooms) in Christchurch and units across the country outside of Auckland. 

Renters on average pay more of their income on housing costs than owner-occupiers, but  there's likely to be little respite for them in the near future, Lloyd said.

"We're now entering a typically busy time of year in the rental market, and with the added impact of Auckland's border opening up we may see more increases in the New Year."

Supply dropped nationwide 6 percent last month, he said, while demand rose 1 percent. 

According to rental bond data from MBIE, rents have increased an average of about 4.5 percent a year since 1993. The rate of increase has accelerated over the past decade to about 5.6 percent, and in the past two years, 7.5 percent. Inflation over the past two years has generally been below 2 percent, but has recently spiked to an annual rate of 4.9 percent

Trade Me's data is pulled from around 11,000 rental agreements struck through its property service each month, not asking price data, so is an "accurate statistical assessment of the current rent being charged by landlords and property managers".

Last week, Trade Me Property said asking prices for homes on sale had increased 50 percent in five years