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Trade Me data reveals where rents increased the most in 2022

December Rental Price Index

26 January 2023

Rents finished off 2022 at an all-time high, with tenants in almost every region having to dig deeper into their wallets, according to the latest Trade Me Property data.

Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said with the exception of Wellington, every region saw rents climb in 2022. “The biggest increase was seen in Northland, where the median weekly rent skyrocketed by a whopping $60 in between January and December.

Mr Lloyd said rents in the Taranaki region saw the second biggest jump, climbing by $45, while Canterbury and Marlborough both saw a $40 increase. “Rents were comparatively stagnant in the main centres, with Wellington and Auckland both seeing prices cool off in 2022 following a period of relentless growth in the two years prior.”

Median weekly rents by region January 2022 - December 2022
RegionMedian weekly rent January 2022Median weekly rent December 2022Change in dollar figure
Hawkes BayHawkes Bay$570$570$595$595+$25+$25
Bay of PlentyBay of Plenty$580$580$600$600+$20+$20

Rents remain at $580

Mr Lloyd said the national median weekly rent was $580 for the third consecutive month in December, matching the record-high first recorded in April. “This also marked the third month in a row where the national median weekly rent jumped by 4 per cent year-on-year.”

While Mr Lloyd said 2022 was a tough year for renters, the good news was price growth slowed down significantly when compared with 12 months prior. “The $20 price jump we saw in the national median weekly rent between December 2021 and December 2022 was only half the size of what we saw the year prior, when it jumped from $520 in December 2020, to $560 in December 2021.”

Mr Lloyd said new record-high rents were seen in a number of spots around the country as 2022 came to a close. “In the Auckland region the median weekly rent grew by 3 per cent year-on-year to reach a new high of $615 in December. This comes after we saw rents remain stagnant for over 12 months, fluctuating between $600 and $610 since October 2021.”

“The median weekly rent in the Hawke’s Bay also hit a new high of $595, while Northland reached $560. In Marlborough rents climbed to $535.

“In Wellington, the median weekly rent was $650 in December, matching the region’s all-time high first recorded in February last year and making it the most expensive place to rent in Aotearoa last month.”

Supply remains strong while demand dips

Mr Lloyd said the number of rental listings nationwide jumped by 2 per cent year-on-year in December. “This marked the ninth month in a row where we’ve seen supply increase on the year prior.”

Mr Lloyd said the biggest supply jumps were seen in the lower North Island, with rental listings up 35 per cent year-on-year in Manawatū/Whanganui and 33 per cent in Wellington. “Northland was not far behind, seeing a 22 per cent increase in listings last month when compared with December 2021.”

While supply grew, nationwide demand fell by 2 per cent year-on-year in December. “When compared with December 2021, demand fell the furthest in Marlborough (-39%), Manawatū/Whanganui (-27%) and Northland (-25%) last month.”

On the other hand, Mr Lloyd said Otago (+13%) and Auckland (+8%) bucked the overall trend and saw the biggest increases in demand last month.

Urban property rents reach a new high

The national median weekly rent for an urban property hit an all-time high of $510 last month, growing 3 per cent when compared with December 2021. “This was really carried by units, with their median weekly rent up 3 per cent year-on-year last month, while apartment rents saw no change on the same month in 2021.”

Rents for small and large properties grow

The national median weekly rent for a large property (5+ bedrooms) was $980 in December, up 3 per cent when compared with the same month in 2021. “Nationwide, small properties (1-2 bedrooms) also saw prices jump by 3 per cent to $495, while medium property (3-4 bedrooms) rents remained at $650, showing no change year-on-year.”

Mr Lloyd said large properties in the Wellington region had a standout month in December, with their median weekly rent up a whopping 13 per cent to $1,350. “This is particularly interesting given the median weekly rent for both small and medium properties in the region did not increase in December.

“Christchurch also saw rents grow considerably in December, with the median weekly rent for a medium property in the city reaching a new high of $600, and rents for small properties climbed 13 per cent year-on-year to $450.”