Housing: Prices for new rentals up 5.5 percent year-on-year, latest figures show

Prices of new rentals are up 5.5 percent year-on-year, latest StatNZ data shows.
Prices of new rentals are up 5.5 percent year-on-year, latest StatNZ data shows. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Rents are rising across the country, but they're not the biggest increases seen, StatsNZ says.

According to January Rental Price Index figures released by StatsNZ on Monday, prices for new rentals starting in January (measured as rental 'flow'), were up 5.5 percent year-on-year.

Prices for all rentals, including existing rentals and new tenancies (measured as rental 'stock'), were up 3.6 percent year-on-year.

Over the January month, prices for new rentals rose by 0.7 percent, whereas prices for all rentals rose by 0.3 percent.

Talking to Newshub, consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbury, said the higher annual increase for new rentals, as opposed to all rentals, is in line with the assumption landlords have greater flexibility to put up prices on new tenancies.

StatsNZ data shows monthly price increases for all rentals are consistently around 0.2 to 0.4 percent, showing the 0.3 percent monthly increase is "not anything out of the ordinary".

Overall, the January figures represent a "pretty standard movement" in rental prices, she said.

"Looking at rental flow, in September 2021 there was quite a big increase [3.9 percent]....January's is not among the biggest we've seen," Dewbury said.

Current Consumer Price Index figures released in January, show rental prices were 3.8 percent higher in the 3-months to December 2021, than the same time in 2020.

On a regional basis, rental prices increased by 2 percent in Auckland, 3.3 percent in Canterbury and 5.5 percent in Wellington.

A quarterly rental report released by Auckland and Northland-based real estate company Barfoot & Thompson, shows the average weekly rent in Auckland was $609.89 in December.

It was 2.89 percent above the average rent in December 2020.  In the report, Barfoot & Thompson director Kiri Barfoot, said compared to the rate of rental price increases over the last decade, 2021 was in the "third-lowest position".

Trade Me rental price index figures, released on January 27, show the national median rent reached $560 in December, up 7.7 percent year-on-year.

Compared to December 2020, that's an additional $40 per week - just over $2000 per year.

Along with rising petrol prices and food prices, the cost of housing, including rising mortgage interest rates for homeowners, is contributing to the overall rise in the cost of living, affecting Kiwis' back pockets.