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Rents remain at an all-time high in August

August Rental Price Index 2022

29 September 2022

The national median weekly rent remained at $580 for the second month in a row in August, matching the all-time high first recorded earlier this year, according to Trade Me’s latest Rental Price Index. 

Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said the national median weekly rent first reached $580 in April. “We then saw rents fall for two consecutive months, before climbing back to the record high in July and then showing no change last month.”

While Mr Lloyd says renters around the country will be pleased to hear prices saw no month-on-month growth in August, it’s still not an easy time to be a tenant with prices remaining at an all-time high. 

Looking around the regions, Mr Lloyd said it was a mixed bag for rents in August. “The Canterbury region saw its second record-breaking month in a row, with the median weekly rent reaching $520. The Manawatū/Whanganui region also saw a new high median weekly rent of $510 last month.”

However, Mr Lloyd not every region saw rents increase last month. “Marlborough and Nelson/Tasman saw their median weekly rents drop by 6 per cent month-on-month, while Wellington, Hawke’s Bay, and Bay of Plenty rents all fell by 2 per cent.”

When compared with August 2021, Mr Lloyd said last month’s national median weekly rent marks a 5 per cent increase.

“Going into the next few months, we would usually expect to see rental market activity pick up during the warmer period. Given the activity we have seen over the past few months, it will be interesting to see whether this Summer rents remain stagnant, or if they head north again.”

National supply climbs by more than a third in 12 months

When compared with August 2021, Mr Lloyd said the number of rentals on the market jumped 37 per cent last month. “It’s worth keeping in mind that this time last year we were in a lockdown. Despite this, supply is still significantly higher than what we saw pre-pandemic, up 9 per cent nationwide when compared with August 2019.”

Mr Lloyd said Wellington (+80%) and Hawke’s Bay (+72%) saw the biggest supply jumps around the country in August. “Nelson/Tasman and Otago were the only regions to see a drop in supply last month, down 5 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.”

Looking at demand, nationwide there was a 26 per cent year-on-year increase in enquiries on rental properties in August. “Southland saw the biggest jump, with demand in the region up 55 per cent year-on-year, the biggest in the country. 

“The Marlborough (+44%), Taranaki (+40%), and Hawke’s Bay (+38%) regions were not far behind.”

Auckland rents at a five month standstill

The Auckland region’s median weekly rent remained at $600 for the fifth row in the month in August, marking an increase of 1 per cent year-on-year.  “When compared with the region’s record-high median weekly rent first recorded in January, rents in the Auckland region fell slightly by $10 per week in August.”

Mr Lloyd said the most expensive Auckland districts in July were North Shore City and Rodney (both $650), followed by Papakura and Manukau City (both $630). “In the Auckland City district, the median weekly rent was $580 last month.

“The most popular rental listing in the Auckland region in August was a two-bedroom home on Ladies Mile in Ellerslie.” Mr Lloyd said the property had a weekly rent of $475 and received 305 watchlists in its first seven days onsite.

Wellington rents fall by $10

In the Wellington region, the median weekly rent was $600 in August, showing no change when compared with the same month last year. “When compared with the prior month, this marked a drop of $10.”

The highest median weekly rent in the region was seen in Porirua ($680), followed by Lower Hutt ($620). “The Wellington City district saw a median weekly rent of $600 in July.

“Last month's most popular listing in the Wellington region was a two-bedroom house on Thomas Street, Stokes Valley. The $520-a-week property was watchlisted 263 times in its first seven days onsite.”

Townhouse rents reach a new high

Nationwide, townhouses had a record-breaking month with their median weekly rent jumping 8 per cent year-on-year to $625. “The national median weekly rent for units also grew by 2 per cent year-on-year to $460. On the other hand, apartments saw no change in median weekly rent in August when compared with the same month last year.”

In the Auckland region, Mr Lloyd said the median weekly rent fell for both apartments and townhouses.