Rental prices up for third month in a row, some properties reach record highs

  • 27/03/2024

Rental prices have gone up for the third consecutive month in a row, with some properties reaching record highs, new figures have revealed.

Trade Me's latest Rental Price Index, released on Wednesday, shows the national median rent was $640 in February – up 1.6 percent compared to January.

Homes with one or two bedrooms reached record highs of $550 a week and three to four-bedroom properties also reached new highs of $720 a week.

Hawke's Bay saw the biggest increase compared to January - up 5.6 percent - with the median rent for the area now $655.

This was largely driven by Napier which rose by 11.7 percent and Hastings which grew 3.1 percent. Both cities' median rent was $670 per week - only $10 behind Auckland.

Meanwhile, Southland retains its status as the most affordable place to rent in New Zealand, with a median price of $450 per week.

Trade Me's property sales director Gavin Lloyd said national increases are even more stark when compared to a year ago.

"Compared to February 2023 there has been a 6.7 percent increase in the weekly median rent which adds up to over $2,000 a year, or $40 per week."

But he added that it wasn't uncommon to see increases for the time of year.

"In New Zealand, when summer rolls around, rental prices tend to go up," he said.

"More people move around during the warmer months, creating increased demand for places to rent. Since supply hasn't been keeping up with demand recently, renters are having to pay more to help secure a property in the busy summer season."

Trade Me's statistics show demand for rental properties was down 14 percent, while the supply of properties was up three per cent.

Wellington experienced the biggest drop of 36 percent compared to January.

"As demand slows down, this could benefit renters who are planning to move in the next few months," Lloyd said.

"It might also contribute to keeping rental prices stable or even lower, particularly if the supply of available homes continues to grow."