Trade Me data reveals Wellington is the most expensive place to rent in New Zealand

Wellington city
Wellington city Photo credit: Getty

Rent prices are at an all-time high in the capital. Data released by Trade Me rentals shows that for the first time, Wellington has beaten Auckland for the most expensive rental prices, averaging a whopping $565 per week. 

Auckland is sitting stagnant at $550.

The head of Trade Me rentals, Aaron Clancy says although renters in Wellington are accustomed to the madness, this year has shown that the struggle to find a property is dire.

"Usually we see a little bit of a lull or drop off in demand coming into the Christmas break, but in December we didn't see this," he says, "tenants were putting their best foot forward and trying to secure a property before the New Year."

He says that if Wellington renters are hoping for a slow-down in the New Year, then they're out of luck.

"We don't expect it to slow down in January or February."

Competition for rental properties is growing. A two bedroom rental property in Newtown saw 137 inquiries from eager renters in just two days, and that's just the start.

Suburbs like Wainuiomata - a 20 minute drive from the CBD - are seeing an increase too. 

"Even if we push out further, in Wainuiomata, which is generally quieter, we saw 95 inquiries in the first two days. We're definitely seeing more demand."

Mr Clancy says that listings are down 7 percent, and inquiries are up 15 percent.

"We just aren't seeing enough supply for the demand."

Melissa Stevens, a graphic designer living in Hamilton, has been trying to move to Wellington since the start of last year, but has struggled finding somewhere affordable, and near enough to the city for work.

"I dipped my toes in and started looking, but being single at the time, it was around $280 for a single room and that was just a bit out of my price range," she says "plus, [the rooms] just weren't that nice," Ms Stevens told Newshub. 

A year on, she has a partner and with him a rental flat

"The room is $320 for both of us, but it is quite a bit smaller than what we have [in Hamilton],"

'But it's Wellington, so what do you expect?"

High rental prices won't stop Ms Stevens though, as she plans to rent out the "tiny" spare room in her new flat to try and save on costs.

Mr Clancy recommends that renters compromise on their desires, if they want to secure a property in Wellington.

"It is going to be hard," he says "[Renters] need to start casting their net wider. Some tenants are starting to look into Upper and Lower Hutt, so it may not be what you wanted originally. But if you want to secure a property, you've got to start casting a wider net."