Demand soars for Wellington property, putting pressure on renters

Demand for property in Wellington soared in August increasing 34 percent putting even more pressure on an already saturated market.

Now there's concern that pressure will grow even more with the COVID-19 rent freeze due to lift next week.

Scrolling through the market online is as close as renter Hayden Taylor can get to buying a house.

"From being a student to working - it's still not really a feasible situation in which I can save up enough money to buy a house by myself," he told Newshub.

That situation just got a lot harder. New figures released by TradeMe show a 34 percent jump in people looking at houses to buy in August.

Spokesperson Millie Silvester told Newshub it could be due to people coming home from overseas.

"Or it could be people considering their options after lockdown - people have spent a lot of time around their house and may have decided it's time to upgrade."

That demand has translated into increased prices too - the average asking prices in the capital jumping nine percent to $689,000.

The Real Estate sector is declaring a sellers market with auctioneer Darly Harper telling Newshub it's more affordable than ever to buy. 

But that doesn't mean good news for everyone.

The rent freeze brought in by the Government during the first COVID-19 lockdown is due to end next Friday, meaning for the first time in six months landlords can increase what renters pay per week.

And Renters United says tenants are already being told their costs will go up.

The president of the organisation Robert Whitaker says it's going to make life "really hard".

"Lots of renters have lost income, a lot of renters work in those industries that have been hardest hit like in hospitality and tourism."

While one end of the market grows another end could be dealt a costly blow.