People renting in Wellington city are facing record-breaking prices, with median weekly rent cracking the $600-per-week mark for the first time, according to Trade Me.
Its latest rental price index shows median prices in the capital had jumped $35 a week by December, a 6.2 percent increase on the same month a year before.
The most popular rental property in New Zealand last month was a two-bedroom house in the Wellington suburb of Mt Victoria for $550 a week, which had 95 enquiries in the first two days.
Trade Me Property's Aaron Clancy said rents in Wellington city had been rising the fastest of the main centres.
"Tenants are rushing to find a rental in the capital and the number of enquiries for Wellington city rentals rose 8 percent on the year prior, as many tenants spent their summer holiday looking for a new place to live."
The Wellington region as a whole is the most expensive in the country with the median weekly rent of $580 a week surpassing the Auckland region at $560.
Overall, national demand for rentals rose 17 percent, and 12 of the country's 15 regions saw an annual rent increase last month.
Demand in Auckland jumped 20 percent, with listings up just 1.5 percent year-on-year.
The median weekly rent in Auckland remained at its all time high of $560 per week for the third consecutive month in December following a 1.8 percent annual increase.
The districts with the highest median weekly rents were North Shore City ($600), Auckland City ($560) , Manukau City ($560) and Rodney ($560).
The most popular rental property in Auckland was a three-bedroom house in New Lynn.
"Traditionally quieter areas like Upper Hutt, Porirua and Kāpiti Coast are seeing huge increases in enquiries," Clancy said.
Demand for rentals in Upper Hutt and Porirua rose 21 percent year-on-year, while South Wairarapa saw an 80 percent jump in enquiries and rentals in Kapiti Coast saw 16 percent more enquiries than the year before.
Rentals advertised on its site rose 10 percent over the year and Clancy said that didn't look like it would meet the "huge" demand in the region.
"We expect to see rents climb steeply throughout January, February and March of this year."
Rents rise in the regions
Twelve of the country's 15 regions had rent increases in December with many experiencing double-digit rises.
Southland and Nelson/Tasman saw the largest jumps after the median weekly rent rose 15.3 percent to a new high of $340 per week and 13.4 percent to a record $465 per week respectively.
Rents in Northland ($450) and Taranaki ($425) also reached new highs.
Marlborough and West Coast were the only regions to buck the trend and see rents fall on December 2018, Clancy said.
However, listings in Marlborough were relatively light in December.
The national median rent was $500 per week.