The cost of renting somewhere to live in Auckland has increased by 8.4% in the last 12 months, according to Trade Me Property.
The median asking rent for Auckland homes advertised on the website was just $1 short of $500 a week in August, up 8.4% compared to August last year.
That is in stark contrast to the median asking rents in Wellington, which were unchanged from a year ago, and those in Christchurch which were down 4.7% compared to August last year.
"Median asking rents in Auckland have rocketed up," the head of Trade Me Property, Nigel Jeffries said.
"You're now looking at $499 per week for a typical [Auckland] property, taking annual rent costs close to $26,000, about $2000 more than a year ago.
"It piles more pressure onto the cost of living for tenants," he said.
The biggest increases in Auckland were for apartments, which had an average asking rent of $460 in August, up 12.2% compared with a year ago.
That was followed by townhouses which were up 10% to $550 a week, 1-2 bedroom houses which were up 8.6% to $413, and home units which were up 8.1% to $400 (see chart below).
The smallest increases were for large houses with five or more bedrooms which were up by 3.5% to $735, and 3-4 bedroom houses which were up 5.8% to $550 a week.
In Christchurch, the biggest fall in median asking rents was for 3-4 bedroom houses, which were down 7% for the year to $465 a week, followed by large houses with five or more bedrooms which were down 3.6% to $675, while townhouses declined by 3.4% to $430, and home units which were down 2.9% to $330.
Jeffries said asking rents in Christchurch had declined for three months in a row.
"The Christchurch rental market was extremely hot two years ago, with asking rents rising more than 13% year on year," Jeffries said.
"In March this year it peaked at a weekly rent of $495 to surpass Auckland, but across the remainder of 2015 we've seen rents ease right back and Christchurch tenants are now being asked to pay $3400 less a year."
Across the whole country the median asking rent for all types of homes was $420 a week in August, up 5% compared to August last year.
But when Auckland listings were excluded from those figures, the median asking rent for the rest of New Zealand was $360 a week, up 2.9% compared to a year earlier.