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September rent growth surpasses inflation rate

September Rental Price Index 2022

20 October 2022

The national median weekly rent increased by 7.5 per cent year-on-year last month according to the latest Trade Me Property data, north of the 7.3 per cent annual inflation rate reported by the Reserve Bank for the end of the September quarter. 

Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said the national median rent was $575 in September. “If we look back to the same month last year, this marks a jump of $40, which no doubt renters will feel in their back pockets alongside other cost-of-living increases.”

Mr Lloyd said the national median weekly rent has shown slight fluctuations, but remained comfortably in the $570-$580 bracket since January this year. “When we compare last month’s figure with August, it actually fell by 1 per cent, or $5."

“While this marks a slight drop, $5 a week won’t go very far and there’s no denying it’s tough out there. Living expenses are going up across the board and rents are no exception.”

Last month, Mr Lloyd said the biggest year-on-year median weekly rent increases were seen in the Southland (+14%) and Otago (+10%) regions. “Canterbury (+9%), Manawatū/Whanganui (+9%), and Taranaki (+8%) increases were not far behind.”

Mr Lloyd said Wellington and Hawke’s Bay were the only regions to see no change in median weekly rent last month when compared with the same month last year. “This will be a relief for tenants in these regions, where rents have exploded in recent years.” 

In the past five years, Mr Lloyd said the median weekly rent has skyrocketed by 51 per cent in Hawke’s Bay and 33 per cent in Wellington. “This puts both regions ahead of national price growth, with the country’s median weekly rent climbing 28 per cent in five years.”

Highest September supply on record

Mr Lloyd said last month saw more rentals listed onsite than any September on record, with a 31 per cent year-on-year jump. “If we look back to September 2019, pre-pandemic, last month we saw a 7 per cent jump in rental market supply.”

Supply in the main centres had a standout month, with the number of rentals listed in Auckland up 51 per cent year-on-year, the biggest increase out of all the regions. 

Mr Lloyd said the Capital saw the second largest jump, with supply spiking 49 per cent in the Wellington region. “More options for renters are reflected in the region’s stagnant rent prices.”

On the other hand, Canterbury (-2%), Southland (-4%), Nelson/Tasman (-9%) and Otago (-9%) all saw a drop in rental supply in September. 

On the demand side, enquiries on rental properties dropped 5 per cent nationwide in September. “Auckland (+26%), Southland (+11%), and Hawke’s Bay (+7%) were the only regions to see a year-on-year increase in demand.”

Auckland rents at a six month standstill

The Auckland region’s median weekly rent remained at $600 for the sixth month in a row in September, marking an increase of 1 per cent year-on-year. “This puts the region’s median weekly rent $10 below its record-high, last seen in March.”

Mr Lloyd said the most expensive Auckland district in September were North Shore City ($650), followed by Papakura ($640), and Rodney ($635). “In the Auckland City district, the median weekly rent was $580 last month.”

“The most popular rental listing in the Auckland region in September was a two-bedroom home on Gambia Place in Onehunga.” Mr Lloyd said the property had a weekly rent of $570 and received 460 watchlists in its first seven days onsite.

Wellington rents stagnant at $600

Following Auckland’s lead, the Wellington region’s median weekly rent was $600 for the second month in a row in September. “The highest median weekly rent in the region was seen in Porirua ($675), followed by Upper Hutt and Wellington City ($600).” 

Mr Lloyd said the Kāpiti Coast district had a standout month in September. “The median weekly rent in Kāpiti Coast fell 9 per cent year-on-year last month, to $550. This is the first time rents have dropped in the district since July 2019.”

"Last month's most popular listing in the Wellington region was a two-bedroom apartment on Taranaki Street, Te Aro. The $500-a-week property was watchlisted 276 times in its first seven days onsite."