Median rents surge in Auckland, rise modestly in Wellington and decline in Christchurch

The costs of renting a typical three bedroom house in Auckland was $40 a week more expensive in September than it was in September last year, while tenants in Wellington will likely be paying $5 a week more and those in Christchurch will probably be paying $20 a week less than they were a year ago.

According to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, the national median rent for three bedroom houses that were newly tenanted in September was $380 a week, up $15 a week compared to September last year.

Over the same period, the national median rent for two bedroom flats increased by a more modest $10 a week, from $290 a week in September last year to $300 a week last month.  

The information is drawn from the bonds received by the Ministry’s Building and Housing division, which holds them on behalf of tenants and landlords, making it the most comprehensive database of tenancy information in the country.

However there were substantial differences between the three main centres, with rents in Auckland rising strongly over the last 12 months, rents in Wellington posting modest rises and rents in Christchurch declining.

In Auckland, the median rent for three bedroom houses has increased from $550 a week in September last year to $590 in September this year, while the median rent for two bedroom flat in the city has risen from $395 a week in September last year to $412 in September this year.

Over the last two years, the median rent for a three bedroom house in the city has gone up by $60 a week, exactly double the increase in the national median over the same period.

Rents are also up in Wellington City although the rises are much more modest, with the median rent for a three bedroom house in the Capital increasing by just $10 a week, from $350 a week in September last year to $360 a week last month, with the median rent for two bedroom flats increasing by the same amount.

But the news from Christchurch was better for tenants than it was for landlords last month, with the median rent for a three bedroom house in the city down $20 a week in September compared to a year earlier, while two bedroom flats were down $5 a week over the same period (see table below).

Weekly Median Rents

  September 2015 September 2014 September 2013
Auckland 3 brm house $590 $550 $530
Auckland 2 brm flat $412 $395 $380
Wellington 3 brm house $485 $480 $470
Wellington 2 brm flat $360 $350 $300
Christchurch 3 brm house $430 $450 $420
Christchurch 2 brm flat $325 $330 $300
NZ all housing types $360 $350 $330
Source:MBIE