Tenants forking out $2000 more a year as median rents climb $40 a week in 2021

Tenants are now forking out on average an extra $2000 a year after the median rent climbed $40 a week in 2021. 

The median rent has now hit $560 a week, according to Trade Me’s latest Rental Price Index. 

Sales director Gavin Lloyd said the national median weekly rent rose by 8 percent annually, with rents matching the all-time high figure first recorded in October. 

"This will be hard news for tenants to hear, as a weekly rental increase of $40 per week means tenants will have to fork out another $2000 a year in rent.

"Seeing such sizable rent increases persistently throughout the last quarter of 2021 will be a tough pill to swallow for renters around the country, who will no doubt be hoping for a cooler rental market in 2022."

The data shows rents hit a new high in four regions across the country with the largest increases in Taranaki, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Wellington. 

"When compared with December last year, the largest median weekly rent increases were seen in the Taranaki (up 16 percent) and Hawke’s Bay (up 15 percent) regions. Both regions saw median rents reach all-time highs of $520 and $565 per week respectively in December," Lloyd said. 

"Other regions to see record-high median weekly rents last month were Marlborough ($490) and Wellington ($630)." 

The price increase comes amid a shortage of rentals with national market supply dropping by 10 percent last month, when compared with December last year.

“Supply was down in every region except Southland last month, with the biggest drop seen in Nelson/Tasman (down 49 percent), Northland (down 32 percent), Marlborough, and Canterbury (both down 28 percent ).

But demand also dropped nationally by 2 percent year-on-year in December. 

Lloyd said while a drop in demand is promising, it isn't likely to be substantial enough to slow the market down. 

Porirua rents the most expensive in the country

Porirua in Wellington is still the most expensive district to rent in with median weekly rents hitting a record high of $700 in December. 

Lower Hutt ($615), Masterton ($540), and Upper Hutt ($630) also saw all-time high median weekly rents. 

Wellington's median weekly rent was just shy of its all-time high of $645 at $640 in December. 

Additionally, demand for rentals in the capital was down by 4 percent last month when compared with the same month in 2020, while supply was down by 5 percent. 

“The most popular rental in the country last month was a three-bedroom house on Wilson Street, Newtown for $700 per week. The property received 125 enquiries in its first two days onsite," Lloyd said. 

It comes as rents for urban properties reached an all-time high in the city last month. 

"The median weekly rent for urban properties (townhouses, apartments and units) in Wellington hit $560 in December, increasing by 8 percent year-on-year."

Auckland rents stagnant 

Rents in the super city are remaining stagnant with a median weekly rent of $600 for the third month in a row in December. 

"After reaching the $600 milestone for the first time in October, the region’s median rent remained there for the rest of 2021." 

The median weekly rent for Auckland City was $580 in December, a 7 percent year-on-year increase.

The most expensive areas to rent were Franklin ($640), North Shore City ($640), and Rodney ($630). 

Lloyd said demand in the Auckland region was down by 9 percent year-on-year in December, while supply was down by 3 percent.

"Last month’s most popular Auckland rental was a three-bedroom house on Oakdale Road, in Mount Roskill. It had a weekly rent of $630 and received 76 enquiries in its first two days onsite."

Large properties see record-high rents

Additionally, it seems Kiwis want big houses with properties with 5 or more bedrooms hitting an all-time high at $950.

"This marked a double-digit year-on-year increase of 12 percent," Lloyd said. 

Large properties in Auckland reached a new record at $1000 per week after an 11 percent annual increase, while in Wellington large properties matched the national increase of 12 percent to $1200.