By Greg Ninness
The rental housing market took a slight dip in April, although rents remain well up on a year ago in most places around the country.
The residential rental market is usually a but quieter in April, with many renters such as students and people relocating for work or business generally getting their new arrangements sorted in the first quarter of the year.
That pattern held true this year with the Tenancy Services arm of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) receiving 10,713 tenancy bonds in April, down from 15,379 in March and 11,099 in February, but little changed form the 10,630 bonds that were received in April last year.
The median rent for all new tenancies across the country held steady at its all time high of $400 a week for the third month in a row, up from $380 a week (+5.3%) compared to April last year (see table below).
Of the 22 districts where rents are monitored by interest.co.nz, the median rent in April had risen in seven of them compared to March, declined in 11 and was unchanged in four.
Within the Auckland region, the median rent hit a record high of $490 a week in Waitakere, an increase of 8.9% compared to April last year when it was $450 a week.
Wellington City's median rent also climbed to a new high of $500 a week in April, up by $55 (+12.4%) a week compared to April last year. and up by $68 (+15.7%) a week compared to April 2015.
But rents continue to decline in Christchurch where the median rent in April remained at $380 a week for the second month in a row, down from $390 a week in April last year and $395 a week in April 2015.
In the apartment market, there have been particularly strong increases in the median rents for two bedroom apartments in both Auckland and Wellington.
In Auckland the median rent for two bedroom apartments increased from $500 a week in April last year to $550 a week in April this year (+10%), and in Wellington City the median rent for two bedroom apartments increased from $470 a week to $540 a week over the same period (+14.9%) - see table below.