Auckland rents climb above $650 as tenant demand firms up

The average advertised rent in Auckland rose 4.4 percent in the September year to $652.93 per week, data shows. Photo credit: Getty Images

Rents in Auckland increased at a faster pace in the quarter to September and annual rental growth skyrocketed, reflecting strong demand from tenants and constrained housing supply, data shows. 

Real estate firm Barfoot & Thompson said the average rent in Auckland rose 4.4 percent in the September year to $652.93 per week - a bigger yearly increase than the 3.4 percent in the previous quarter.   

Average rents were nearly 13 percent higher than September 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Samantha Arnold, Barfoot & Thompson's general manager of property management, said the increase in rents reflected the surge in demand.

"Firstly, we are seeing the continued recovery of the city central segment as people return to the area, coupled with constrained supply, come through in these figures." 

Barfoot & Thompson said Auckland city apartment rents rose 8.4 percent to $555 in the year to September. 

It said record-breaking net migration was also having a major impact. 

New Zealand recorded a net migration gain of 110,200 in the year to August, Statistics NZ data showed.

"With many migrants attracted to cities like Auckland, we believe significant demand for housing is putting pressure on available stock and, therefore, pushing prices up," Arnold said. 

"New tenancies are at the pointy end of where increased demand meets constrained supply." 

Aotearoa's housing market has been hit by rapid increases in interest rates, which the Reserve Bank has suggested have peaked at 5.5 percent - although some economists are predicting a 5.75 percent peak.