The Rent Price Index provides a monthly analysis of the rental property market across the country. This is based on the rent prices being sought in listings from the past month.
May 2017 Christchurch tenants continue to benefit from declining rents
There seems to be continuing good news for tenants in the Garden City as the rental market seeks to find a stable platform following the 2011 earthquake. In the past month median advertised rents in Christchurch slipped another $5 a week to hit a weekly cost of $390; that represents an annual fall of 2.5 per cent potentially saving tenants $500 a year in overall rental costs as compared to a year ago.
Mr Jeffries said Christchurch was a perfect example of supply and demand in the rental market. “Before the earthquake, Christchurch typically had 1450 rental property listings listed each month. After the earthquake, this fell to around 1000, and that depletion drove rents up hard.
“Since 2013, the number of rental properties has increased steadily and we’re back to the pre-earthquake number of listings, with rents starting to level out. The $390 per week mark we’ve hit appears to be Christchurch’s happy place and we think rents will stay within cooee of this for the foreseeable future.”
Nationwide rents remain flat
The median weekly rent for a typical Kiwi property was flat for the sixth month in a row at $450, an annual rate of increase of 2.3 per cent.
Mr Jeffries said that while national figures have remained flat, the regions continued to outpace our three largest cities. “The median weekly rent for properties outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch is up 7 per cent on this time last year to $380.
Around the regions
Across New Zealand’s 15 regions only Canterbury saw rents drop year-on-year, while Gisborne and the West Coast were unchanged.
Mr Jeffries said the North Island was particularly strong this month, with Northland and the Bay of Plenty jumping in double digits. “The median weekly rent in Northland has dropped slightly since April, down $5 to $380. That said, the region is still up 18.8 per cent on this time last year. The Bay of Plenty maintained its record high of $450 a week in May, still second equal with Wellington in the most expensive region stakes.”
In the South Island, Nelson/Tasman reached a record high in May as it hit $399 a week, a 7.1 per cent increase over the past year.
Wellington market continues to edge upward
Wellington continued its upward trend in May. “Rents in the capital are again up on this time last year and property for sale in the region has seen asking prices increase markedly too.
“The most significant jump was for medium-sized properties, with 3 or 4 bedrooms, which are the biggest market in Wellington.
“At $525 per week, medium-sized houses have jumped 14.1 per cent in the last year, adding a massive $3,380 to the annual cost to rent one of these properties.
Table 1: Median weekly rent by property size & region: May 2017 vs May 2016
The rental option of urban living defies market trend
While the rental market across the country is slowly edging up, Mr Jeffries said urban property options are bucking the trend. “Overall there was no change to the rents for townhouses, while units have seen modest growth in asking rents. Apartments are the only category experiencing much of a jump, up 4.7 per cent year-on-year to $450 per week.”
Table 2: Median weekly rent by property type & region: May 2017 vs May 2016
About the Trade Me Property Rental Price Index
The Trade Me Property Rental Price Index is the first report to provide a timely and comprehensive monthly insight into the rental market covering price trends by type and size of property across New Zealand.
The index is produced from Trade Me Property data of properties that have been rented in the month by property managers and private landlords. On average over 11,000 properties are rented each month and the report therefore provides the most comprehensive insight into this critical part of the property market for tenants, landlords and investors. The rental price index is calculated using the median rent in the month, this being an accurate statistical assessment of the current rent being charged by landlords and property managers.
More info: For information about the differences between the Trade Me Property data and bond data collected by Tenancy Services, please read this post (How High is the Rent?) by Dr Lucy Telfar-Barnard from the University of Otago