Auckland’s average weekly rent tips over $650

Barfoot & Thompson’s latest rental index shows the region’s rental market in September had one of its biggest increases in years.

The agency, which manages more than 17,000 rental properties in Auckland alone, says the average weekly rent paid across all its tenancies was $652.19 last month, up 4.44% or $27.74 a week over the same time last year.

The most notable moves in pricing were in new tenancies, rather than existing.

This follows two years of relatively steady change, ranging between 2.97-3.37% year-on-year, and marks the first time in five years a percentage increase above 4% percent has been recorded.

Barfoot & Thompson property management general manager Samantha Arnold says there were several factors behind the lift.

Firstly, she says the central city is continuing its recovery as people return to the area, and coupled with constrained supply, it has come through in the figures.

The city apartment market had an 8.43% or $43.18 per week rise in the quarter. “It’s a significant shift from the almost flat line through 2020, 2021 and much of 2022 and is feeding into the higher overall average.”

However, more significantly, Arnold says the “gear shift” in pricing coincides with a record-breaking period for migration into the country.

The latest statistics show net migration began to exceed 100,000 in the second half of this year, and annual arrivals to the country reached an all-time high for the year ending August 2023.

“With many migrants attracted to cities like Auckland, we believe significant demand for housing is putting pressure on available stock, and therefore pushing prices up.”

Arnold says the company had more than 2,000 properties listed during the three months ending 30 September, hosted more than 27,500 people at viewings, and processed more than 20,200 applications.

And while the company’s average weekly rent figure captured all rentals, she said the most notable moves in pricing were in new tenancies: “New tenancies are at the pointy end of where increased demand meets constrained supply.”

Across the region, on average, the highest average weekly rents were paid for large city-fringe residences and homes on the North Shore. Properties in the south of the city remained the least costly places to rent, however homes in Franklin/rural Manukau continued to attract the second highest increase in rents after the central city, up 6.50%.

One-bedroom properties attracted the highest increase, up 5.91%, likely reflecting the resurgence in demand for central city apartments.

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