The latest Trade Me Rental Price Index shows that every region in New Zealand saw an annual increase in median asking rents per week in May, with five markets hitting new records.
Those markets were Southland, Taranaki, Northland, Otago and the West Coast but eight regions in total experienced double-digit increases.
It was this regional market growth that drove the country’s median weekly rent to go up by 5.3% year-on-year to $500 in May.
Trade Me’s head of property Nigel Jeffries says it’s uncommon to see year-on-year rental price growth in every region, particularly at this time of year when they’d expect the rental market to cool.
It comes down to supply simply not keeping up with demand around the country, he says.
“The average number of enquiries jumped up 22% on last year as more tenants looked to make a move in May.
“Stock is battling to keep up with this growing demand and we saw a 6.7% decrease in rental properties coming on to the market in May.”
This means landlords can continue to demand top dollar for their rentals, Jeffries says.
“Also, with the new insulation rules for rental homes coming into effect on July 1, we think landlords may be passing this cost onto tenants.”
But while rents outside the three largest cities saw significant growth, the main centres held steady.
The median weekly rent in Auckland has remained at $560 per week for most of the year.
Jeffries says there’s still plenty of interest in the Auckland region but it appears that the number of rentals in the region is meeting demand.
Meanwhile, rents in Canterbury appear to be experiencing a similar trend, hovering around the $400 mark since September last year.
Wellington had a red-hot summer but the city has now seen some cooling in rents as they are down $25 on January’s high to $525 per week in May.
This means tenants in the capital are a bit better off, Jeffries says. “But we expect to see prices in the capital continue upwards later this year as there simply aren’t enough rental properties in Wellington compared to the demand.”