Regional rents rise, city rents remain stagnant

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Strong rent growth in the regions drove the national median weekly rent up 2 per cent year-on-year in February, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index.

Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd says every region across the country saw a year-on-year increase in median weekly rent in February and the biggest increases were seen in Manawatu/Whanganui (16 per cent), Hawke’s Bay (15 per cent), and Taranaki (13 per cent).

“Many of our provinces experienced record-breaking rents in February with Gisborne ($535), Hawke’s Bay ($530), Marlborough ($480), and Waikato ($485) all hitting new highs. Northland also had a standout month, with the median weekly rent hitting $500 for the first time.”

Gavin says increasing interest for rentals in the regions was driving prices up.

"Demand for rental properties in Marlborough rose a staggering 46 per cent, Northland was up 35 per cent and Manawatu/Whanganui rose 17 per cent on last year. The provinces are becoming increasingly popular for some tenants and with more Kiwis able to work remotely since Covid, this is a trend that will likely continue for the foreseeable future."

Nationally, Gavin says demand was down by three per cent when compared with February last year, while supply was up by six per cent.

"This marks the second month in a row we have seen supply outweighing demand. If this continues we may well see prices cool off as we head into winter, which will be welcome news for renters around the country."

Record-breaking month for large rentals

Gavn says rent for large houses (5+ bedrooms) reached an all-time high in February at $900 per week.

"The median weekly rent for all house sizes saw year-on-year increases in every region, with the exception of 5+ bedroom houses outside of Auckland (-2 per cent) and in Wellington (-8 per cent)."

Unit rents reach an all-time high

The median weekly rent for units reached an all-time high of $435 in February.

"On the other hand, the national median weekly rent for apartments fell by three per cent year-on-year to $485 last month."

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