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Rents cool in winter market

The national median weekly rent held steady at $620 for the second consecutive month in July.

By Gavin Lloyd 23 August 2023

The New Zealand rental market cooled in July with rents stagnant, demand down and supply falling, according to Trade Me’s latest Rental Price Index.

The national median weekly rent held steady at $620 for the second consecutive month in July.

“Renters will be feeling relieved that their costs haven’t increased, but that is not to say they aren’t still feeling the pinch. If we compare to July 2022, tenants are still paying $40 more per week in rent, and Auckland tenants have faced the biggest increase at $70 more per week than last year,” said Trade Me’s Director of Property Sales Gavin Lloyd.

Nationwide, supply and demand for rental properties was down in July, with 3 per cent fewer listings, and 2 per cent fewer enquiries compared to June.

“Fewer rentals on the market in winter is not entirely surprising, given the cold snap has well and truly hit and people don’t tend to want to move in the winter months,” said Mr Lloyd.

“Even though winter is a traditionally slow time for the rental market, it is even quieter than usual. We expect the market will start picking up again when we hit spring, and it will be interesting to see if landlords respond to the lack of demand with lower rents.”

Bucking the nationwide trend

A few regions bucked the nationwide trend, including Canterbury which had a 7 per cent uplift in listings and 13 per cent more enquiries.

Prices in Canterbury also remained stable with a median rent of $550 per week, where rents have remained since May.

“Canterbury has been fairly steady, but renters are still paying $50 a week more than this time last year. In Christchurch rents reached a new record in July at $550 per week, up 10 per cent on the year prior. This will be hurting the pockets of renters as they face cost of living increases across the board,” said Mr Lloyd.

Regions impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle continue to see the impact of the devastating weather event, with declines in both supply and demand in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay.

Gisborne listings were down 26 per cent year-on-year, while enquiries were down 16 per cent. Hawke’s Bay is faring slightly better, with listings down 15 per cent and enquiries down 7 per cent compared to July 2022.

Marlborough is a popular region for rentals and in July we saw 29 per cent more listings and 20 per cent more enquiries in the area when compared to last year.

Wellington rent stable at $650

Wellington rents have been sitting stagnant at $650 per week since March this year.

Following the region’s record-high median weekly rent recorded in January at $660 per week, rents in Wellington have dropped $10 per week, and have remained stable at $650 for the last four months.

Compared to last year, Wellington tenants are now paying $40 a week more. The most expensive Wellington areas are Porirua ($680), Lower Hutt ($650), and Wellington City ($650).

The most popular rental listing in July in the Wellington region was a two-bedroom Pipitea home for $600 per week, which generated 3,500 views and 128 enquiries in its first seven days onsite.

City living continues to drive demand

While prices might be staying stable for renters, urban options in city centres remain popular – with apartments, townhouses and units seeing strong demand.

For the second month in a row, Auckland and Christchurch urban properties have seen record highs.

Apartments and units in Auckland city both saw new record highs in July. The median weekly rent for an Auckland apartment was $580 – up 16 per cent. Likewise units were $540 – up 8 per cent.

Townhouses in Christchurch also saw a record high, at $540 per week, up 9 per cent.

Auckland and Wellington urban properties (apartments, townhouses and units) are creeping towards the $600 mark, with Auckland City at $595 and Wellington $590.

“Apartments are popular options in central cities – especially post-pandemic we’ve seen a strong rebound of people wanting to be closer to the action that the city centre has to offer,” said Mr Lloyd.


Gavin Lloyd
Gavin Lloyd

Sales Director, Property -

Gavin Lloyd is a seasoned professional in sales and business development, driven by a passion for creating high performing teams and achieving growth. With over a decade of experience in the property industry, Gavin consistently showcases his expertise in crafting and executing strategic plans that yield tangible results. His extensive background in the online space, affords him an in depth perspective on this ever-evolving business landscape.

Gavin actively engages in the real estate sector, leveraging his profound insights through presentations and active participation in roadshow events. Gavin is also a regular contributor in news spots and radio broadcasts. As the Director of Sales at Trade Me Property, he continues to evolve and adapt alongside his team, ensuring that the information and value they offer remain pertinent, supportive, and instrumental in driving positive change.