Housing rents up strongly in Wellington, flat in Auckland and declining in Christchurch

Housing rents are rising strongly in Wellington and most provincial centres, are almost flat in Auckland and declining in Christchurch, according to Trade Me Property.

The median asking rent for Auckland properties advertised on the website was $530 a week in May, up just 1.9% compared to May last year, while in Wellington it was $450 a week, up 9.8% compared to a year earlier 

In Christchurch it was $390, down 2.5% compared to May last year.

Around the rest of the country, the median asking rent for properties advertised on the website were up by between 3.1%, in Otago and Southland, to 12.5% in the Bay of Plenty, compared to a year ago. (see map below for all regional movements).

Trade Me’s Head of Property Nigel Jeffries said the 2.5% fall in median rents in Christchurch was equivalent to a saving of $500 a year for tenants in the city.

“The median weekly rent [in Christchurch] is now the same as it was in 2013, so tenants in the city will be a lot happier than they were during the height of the rebuild,” he said.

“For two years rents rocketed up, hitting the city’s record of $495 a week in March 2015.

“Since then rents have declined relentlessly.

 They’ve fallen year on year for the past two years.

“This means that in Christchurch, rents have risen just over 8% in the last five years, while nationwide the rise was 25%.”

In Wellington the reverse was true, with rents for all types of properties up 9.8% compared to a year ago, while rents for 3-4 bedroom houses were up 14.1%.

Apartments in the capital showed a more modest rise of 6.5% for the year.