Porirua; New Zealand’s most expensive district to rent

For the first time, Porirua is the most expensive district to rent in the country

29 October 2020

For the first time, Porirua is the most expensive district to rent in the country after rents climbed to a record $625 per week in September, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index.

Trade Me Property spokesperson Logan Mudge said the median weekly rent in Porirua reached an all-time high last month after climbing 25 per cent on last September and over-taking Wellington city by $25 a week.

“Rents in Porirua have been hot on the tail of Wellington city rents for a while now. Both districts were neck-and-neck at $580 in June, but September was the first time we have seen Porirua come out on top.”

Highest median weekly rents in the Wellington region
September 2018September 2019 September 2020
Wellington City ($485)Wellington City ($485)Wellington City ($530)Wellington City ($530)Porirua ($625)Porirua ($625)
Porirua ($435)Porirua ($435)Porirua ($500)Porirua ($500)Wellington City ($600)Wellington City ($600)
Lower Hutt ($430)Lower Hutt ($430)Kapiti Coast & Lower Hutt ($450)Kapiti Coast & Lower Hutt ($450)Upper Hutt ($540)Upper Hutt ($540)

Mr Mudge said heightened demand, in conjunction with slowing market supply, was responsible for pushing rental prices in Porirua up. “In September, the number of rentals listed in Porirua was down 6 per cent when compared with the same month last year. Demand, on the other hand, shot up 17 per cent on the year prior.

“This is the story right across the Wellington region - it’s very pricey if you’re in the market for a Wellington rental at the moment.

“The lure of Porirua is that you can get a bigger place with more space and traditionally you’d be paying less than in Wellington city. The tables have certainly turned this year and we’ll be watching closely to see if this trend continues.

Mr Mudge said interest in the district wasn’t restricted to the rental market alone with house prices in Porirua also on the rise. “The average asking price in Porirua jumped 11 per cent year-on-year in September - so it’s not surprising to see rental prices are following suit.”

“North Shore city and Wellington city came in tied at second place for the most expensive district in the country with both areas seeing a median weekly rent of $600 in September.”

National rents grow by 3% year-on-year

The national median weekly rent increased by 3 per cent year-on-year in September, from $495 to $510. “This is the biggest percentage change we have seen since April, when the national median weekly rent grew by 4 per cent on the previous year.

“We’re starting to see the rental market return to its normal rhythm after the nationwide lockdowns change the market drastically this year.”

September also saw the highest spike in demand this year, with an 18 per cent year-on-year increase nationwide. “After spending a lot of time inside this year, we reckon some tenants may have found their rental property doesn’t quite fit the bill and with the country now back at level one, some tenants may be looking to make a move in search of something better.”

Mr Mudge said the number of rentals available last month did not keep up with demand. “Nationwide, supply was up just 3 per cent on last year, and with demand up by 18 per cent, this mismatch is responsible for rising rents ”

Auckland rents grow by 4%

The median weekly rent in the Auckland region reached $570 in September, up 4 per cent year-on-year.

“Looking at Auckland city, the median weekly rent showed no change when compared with September last year, remaining steady at $550.”

The most expensive district in the region was North Shore city, with a median weekly rent of $600. “This actually marks a drop of 3 per cent year-on-year when compared with the same month last year.

“The next most expensive districts in the region were Rodney and Manukau, which both saw a median weekly rent of $590.”

The most popular rental listing onsite last month was a three-bedroom house in Manukau city that received 96 enquiries in the first two days onsite.

Provinces in demand

Mr Mudge said in September demand was up in all but four regions when compared with the same month last year. “Bay of Plenty (32%), Nelson/Tasman (26%), Hawke’s Bay (25%) and Canterbury (23%), all saw demand increase by more than 20 per cent when compared with last year.

“Smaller, but still notable, demand increases were also seen in Manawatu/Whanganui (17%), Waikato (16%), Taranaki (11%), and Marlborough (5%).”

Mr Mudge said looking at rents across the regions, Manawatu/Whanganui and Taranaki reached new records.

“The median weekly rent in Manawatu/Whanganui was up 16 per cent year-on-year, at $440, while the median weekly rent in Taranaki saw a similar rate of growth, up by 13 per cent when compared with the same month last year to $450.”

Rents rise for small and medium houses

Mr Mudge said small houses (1-2 bedrooms) and medium houses (3-4 bedrooms) saw rents increase year-on-year across the country in September. “The national median weekly rent for large houses (5+ bedrooms) dropped by 2 per cent when compared with September 2019, down to $825.”

Median weekly rent by property size & region: September 2020 vs September 2019

The national median weekly rent for units reached a new high of $420 per week, a 5 per cent increase when compared with this time last year.

Median weekly rent by urban property type & region: September 2020 vs September 2019


  • 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.