Median weekly rent drops for second consecutive month for first time as supply jumps- Trade Me

The national median weekly rent has dropped for the second month in a row in June, while supply remained strong according to figures from Trade Me. 

Trade Me's latest Rental Price Index showed the national media rent fell by 1 percent month-on-month in June to $570 per week. 

Property sales director Gavin Lloyd said it's the first time rents have dropped for two consecutive months. 

"This marks the first time we have ever seen the national median weekly rent dip for two consecutive months," Lloyd said. 

"With the national median rent now sitting at $10 less than its all-time high last seen in April, it's clear we are no longer in the same market as we were last year, where rents grew relentlessly as supply struggled to keep up with demand."

Lloyd said the largest rent drops were seen in the Wellington and Southland regions, where rents fell 2 percent month-on-month. 

"In the Waikato region, the median weekly rent fell one percent on May, while the Auckland, Otago, Nelson/Tasman and Northland regions all saw no change."

But he said not every region felt rental price relief in June, with the Bay of Plenty ($610)  and Hawke's Bay ($575) both seeing their highest median weekly rents of all time. 

While June's national median weekly rent marked a drop on the month prior, Lloyd said it jumped 5 percent when compared with the same month in 2021.

Nationwide supply jumps 11 per cent 

But there's good news when compared with the same month in 2021, the number of rental listings across the country jumped 11 percent in June.

"We have seen supply remain strong for the past few months and this is what is really behind those price drops. Renters have more options and landlords are dropping prices to compete," Lloyd said. 

"As we previously saw in May, Wellington continued to lead the charge,  seeing the biggest jump in rental market supply in June, up 51 percent year-on-year."

The Manawatu/Whanganui (up 21 percent) and Auckland (up 15 percent) regions also had standout months seeing supply skyrocket. 

But supply isn't increasing everywhere Otago saw a whopping 40 percent drop while Nelson/Tasman saw a drop of 20 percent and in Taranaki supply fell by 18 percent.

Demand for rental properties is also down, dropping 9 percent in June when compared with the previous year. 

The biggest drops in demand were seen in Nelson/Tasman (down 32 percent), Taranaki (down 26 percent) and Otago (down 25 percent). 

Auckland rents sit at $600 for third month 

The Auckland region's median weekly rent was $600 for the third row in the month in June, increasing by 2 percent year-on-year. 

"When compared with the region's record-high median weekly rent first recorded in January, this marked a slight drop of $10 per week," Lloyd said. 

The most expensive Auckland districts in May were North Shore City ($650), Papakura ($630), and Rodney ($625).

"The most popular rental listing in the Auckland region last month was a two-bedroom house on Hillsborough Road in Hillsborough." 

Lloyd said the property had a weekly rent of $550 and received 236 watchlists in its first seven days onsite.

Wellington rents fall by $50 in 6 months

In the Wellington region, the median weekly rent rose 1 percent year on year to reach $600 in June. 

When compared with the prior month, however, this marked a drop of 2 percent for the region.

 "This is quite a drop when compared with Wellington's all-time high of $650 last seen in February," he said. 

The highest median weekly rent in the region was seen in Porirua ($695), followed by Wellington City, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt districts which all saw a median weekly rent of $600.

"Last month's most popular listing in the Wellington region was a three-bedroom house on Maungaraki Road in Lower Hutt. The $650-a-week property was watchlisted 170 times in its first seven days onsite," Lloyd said. 

Apartment and townhouse rents cool off in the main centres

Townhouses in the main centres saw no change in median weekly rent when compared with June 2021. "The median weekly rent for apartments in Auckland was also flat year-on-year in June, while in Wellington they fell 4 per cent when compared with the same month last year."