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Rental Price Index - August 2021

Rents remain at an all-time high as lockdown fails to slow market

16 September 2021

18 Kauri Street, Lower Hutt, Wellington

New Zealand's national median weekly rent remained at an all-time high of $550 per week in August despite the country entering a nationwide lockdown, according to Trade Me’s latest Rental Price Index.

Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said August’s national median weekly rent matched the record high first seen in July and climbed 8 per cent on the same time last year. “With the nationwide Alert Level 4 lockdown in August, we would’ve expected to see prices slow considering the tenants and landlords were stuck at home for most of the month. Instead, the rental market charged on with every region in the country seeing an annual increase in rent.

“Records were broken in Southland ($395), Waikato ($500), Bay of Plenty ($560), and Canterbury ($490).”

Mr Lloyd said however, unlike prices, the Covid-19 Alert Level restrictions resulted in a marked drop in both market supply and demand last month, as prospective tenants could not view or visit properties under Level 4 restrictions.

“August saw a 18 per cent drop in the number of properties listed for rent onsite across the country when compared with the same month in 2020. Southland was the only region to flout this, seeing a 10 per cent increase in supply when compared with the same month last year.

“National demand also dropped by 16 per cent year-on-year in August, mirroring what we have seen in past lockdowns.” Mr Lloyd said there were some exceptions, with Marlborough (11%), Bay of Plenty (4%), Canterbury (3%), and Manawatū/Whanganui (2%) seeing an increase in demand last month when compared with August last year.

Looking ahead, Mr Lloyd said he expected the rental market would make a quick recovery. “New Zealand’s rental market has been running hot since we came out of our first nationwide lockdown in 2020, despite many predicting we would see it slow down. We’re expecting this time won’t be any different and we’ll see listing numbers make a swift recovery in the next couple of months.”

Auckland’s median rent sits at $595 for two months

In the Auckland region, the median weekly rent in August remained at $595 for the second month in a row. “This marks a 4 per cent increase on the same month in 2020.”

Looking at Auckland City alone, the median weekly rent was $570. “The most expensive districts in the region were North Shore City ($630), and Papakura ($620) and Manukau ($605).”

Auckland’s most expensive districts in August 2021
DistrictMedian Weekly Rent
North Shore CityNorth Shore City$630$630

Mr Lloyd said demand in the Auckland region was down by 23 per cent year-on-year. “Supply in the region was also down by 13 per cent when compared with August 2020 as Covid-19 restrictions brought the market to a halt.

“August’s most popular rental listing in Auckland was a four-bedroom house on West Lynn Road in Titirangi with a weekly rent of $690. It received 60 enquiries in its first two days onsite.”

Wellington rent reaches $600 for the second time

The median weekly rent in the Wellington region was $600 in August, up 9 per cent year-on-year. “This is only the second time we’ve seen rents in the Wellington region reach the $600 bracket after reaching an all-time high of $615 in January.

“Looking at Wellington City, the median weekly rent was also sitting at $600.”

Mr Lloyd said the median weekly rent in Porirua was higher than the city last month, at $650. “After overtaking Wellington City for the first time ever in July, the median weekly rent in Upper Hutt was $595 in August, making it the third most expensive district in the region."

Wellington’ region’s most expensive districts in August 2021
DistrictMedian Weekly Rent
Wellington CityWellington City$600$600
Upper HuttUpper Hutt$595$595

Mirroring the national trend, demand for rentals in the Wellington region in August was down by 25 per cent last month when compared with the same month in 2020, while supply was down by 16 per cent.

“The most popular rental in the region last month was a two-bedroom townhouse on Benge Crescent in Upper Hutt, for $490 per week. The property received 51 enquiries in its first two days onsite.”

Rent for small properties reaches new high

Mr Lloyd said the national median weekly rent for all house sizes saw an annual increase in August. “Small (1-2 bedroom) properties saw the largest rent increase in August, with their national median weekly rent up 13 per cent year-on-year to record high of $475.”

Rents for urban properties break records

When compared with August last year, the national median weekly rent for urban properties increased by 8 per cent, to a new high of $490. “In Christchurch, the median weekly rent for urban properties increased by a whopping 11 per cent, to $440.”


  • About the Trade Me Property Rental Price Index: This report provides a 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 provides a comprehensive insight into this part of the property market for tenants, landlords and investors. The index is calculated using the rounded median rent in the month, this being an accurate statistical assessment of the current rent being charged by landlords and property managers.