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Rental Price Index - February 2022

Rents experience the largest annual increase since July

6 April 2022

The national median rent has experienced the largest annual increase in seven months, climbing 8.5 per cent or $45 to a record-breaking $575 per week, according to Trade Me’s latest February Rental Price Index.

Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said the rising cost of living will be taking a toll on tenants. “In the past twelve months we’ve seen rents rise consistently and every month it gets more expensive to rent a property in New Zealand. Add to that the rising cost of food and fuel, and tenants are having to dig deep into their wallets to pay for everyday necessities.”

Mr Lloyd said a number of regions saw rents hit a new high with Bay of Plenty (up 6.4 per cent year-on-year to $585), Northland (up 9 per cent to $545) and Taranaki (up 22 per cent to $550) reaching a new record.

Less rentals on the market for most

“Not only are tenants facing record prices, there’s also less rentals on the market to choose from. Nationwide, the number of rentals dropped 6 per cent when compared with the same month in 2021.”

The biggest drops in rental supply were seen in Nelson/Tasman (down 39 per cent year-on-year), Canterbury (down 32 per cent), and Taranaki (down 29 per cent).

“Auckland was the only region to buck the supply trend with a 4 per cent increase in the number of rental properties on the market.”

However, Mr Lloyd said there is a silver lining for tenants. “Nationwide, demand for rentals was down 4 per cent on the year prior with many of our regions seeing a dip in enquiries. Wellington saw a 10 per cent drop in demand, while Auckland was down 12 per cent.

“While record-breaking prices and less rentals to choose from will be a hard pill to swallow for tenants, it will come as some light relief that demand has cooled off.”

Wellington rents climb to $650

In the Wellington region, the median weekly rent rose 12 per cent year-on-year to reach $650, while the number of rentals on the market remained unchanged.

“Taking a closer look at the region, records were set in Lower Hutt and South Wairarapa with the median weekly rent reaching $625 and $600 respectively. The most expensive place to rent in the region is still Porirua at $700 per week, followed by Wellington City at $650.”

3-4 bedroom houses the most popular

“Across the board, all house sizes saw an increase in median weekly rent when compared to the year prior,” said Mr Lloyd.

“Outside of Auckland, properties with three or more bedrooms have seen the most price growth. We reckon this comes down to more Kiwis working from home and wanting an extra room to set up as a home office.”