Housing rents have plateaued in Auckland and are declining in Christchurch, rising in Wellington, regions starting to cool, says Trade Me Property

Housing rents have plateaued in Auckland and are declining in Christchurch, rising in Wellington, regions starting to cool, says Trade Me Property

The median asking rent for rental properties advertised on Trade Me Property has not changed in the last six months.

Trade Me's Head of Property Nigel Jeffries, said the national median rent for homes advertised on the website was $450 a week in June, unchanged since the beginning of the year.

However it was up 4.7% compared to June last year.

Rental growth was particularly weak in Auckland and Christchurch with Auckland's median rent of $530 a week up 3.9% compared to a year ago, while the median rent in Christchurch had dropped 2.9%.

Jeffries said median asking rents in Christchurch had only increased by $30 in the last five years.

However rents in Wellington were up strongly, with June's median rent of $450 a week up 12.5% compared to June last year.

Other regions to show strong annual growth in asking rents were Northland +15.2%, Waikato +8.3%, Nelson/Tasman +8.1%, Hawke's Bay 5.9%, Otago +5.9% and Manawatu/Whanganui +5.3% (see chart below).

However the rate of rental growth outside the main centres appeared to be slowing.

"For example, in the Bay of Plenty the median weekly rent leapt from around $350 in June 2015, blasted up to $400 a week in June 2016 and peaked at $450 a week in April this year," Jeffries said.

"But since then it has plateaued and now sits at $430 a week, up just 2.4% on a year ago."

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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105 Comments

Colour me surprised..

Further indicator that the Auckland market has been over priced. The stable rental market in Auckland shows that the migration are finding alternative accommodation options, and is price-sensitive. I suspect many of the increase is in students who are finding high density apartments or home stays. The reality is that at rentals above the current levels much of the industry is not viable in Auckland

Yes.
I have a good Indian friend in the property sector who told me many Indian students are crammed into apartments in the cbd, whilst many are also homestaying with Indian families, especially down south.
I am not sure about students from East Asia.
I have also heard anecdotally of a few young kiwis returning from Aus or UK who are staying with ma and pa. Don't have any stats but if this is happening a fair bit then obviously lessens the demand for rentals.
I wonder too if far fewer young ones are leaving home, like my bludging 19 year old :)

but tothepoint says rents are going up because of DEMOGRAPHICS

Hi RichMuhlack,

Please note that I have never made a specific comment about house rents.

What I have said is that Auckland house PRICES are bound to increase in the MEDIUM/LONG TERM, because of demographic factors.

It doesn't surprise me if Auckland house rents are flat at the moment, because the housing market as a whole is relatively quiet. That's hardly surprising, given the buoyant activity through 2014-16.

What I have said is that Auckland house PRICES are bound to increase in the MEDIUM/LONG TERM, because of demographic factors.

Except that you will have no ability to actually quantify that relationship (between demographics and house prices) or the ability to explain how you can add probability to it. It's nothing more that a steady line of patter that you've picked up from the media or a BBQ.

You'd be better to say the following:

"History shows that house prices tend to rise over time, at least in the case of NZ, even though I have no idea what the direction of house prices will be in the future. The direction of house prices is beyond my understanding or control.

Oh, the population has risen over time too. At least in the case of NZ."

Quite right. Demographic factors guarantee nothing! Not even 'that populations will grow'. What affects the price of anything is the ability to pay for it. Otherwise the price of GBH's Philippine block would be the same as Auckland's ( or more!) given the 2 million people close by. But, they aren't, because....buyers do not have the capacity to pay more than the prices set. In NZ'd case. what was...is not guaranteed to be. Ask any of our young, who have $50,000 of student loan to pay off before they get to the starting rung of the ladder of life.....

If demographics was causing house prices to increase you would also see a rise in rents. We haven't. If your premise is that current house prices are supported by DEMOGRAPHICS, that premise is demonstrably false.

It's RichMuhlach not RichMuhlack...what's wrong with your spelling today lol

Same as their number crunching and economic theories... visibly incorrect

*pop*

looks like ChCh is the best basket to have all of your eggs after all.

Headline could have read "Rents rising 5 times faster than inflation at 4.7%."

Why make up a categorically untrue headline?

Do you work for the nz herald? Their take is "Auckland rents still NZ's most expensive, rising slower than national figure". I mean, never let the story get in the way of a good headline. You completely miss the point: modest to zero rent raises in Auckland, "housing crisis" is a complete load of BS

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=1189...

I think you will find good quality rentals are rising faster than average and the shite boxes in the CBD and plasterboard leakers in nowhere fancy have flattened...4 bedroom homes in ponsonby will have people out the door looking to rent it at any price

Oh yes, of course, if the figures don't fit your view of the world please feelfree to ignore them. Rents aren't going up, but rent of my house is going up because My House Is Special.

I think you'll find the increase is driven by 5+ bed houses, and the median increase for 3-4 bed houses was just 1.7% in the last year according to Trademe.

http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/price-index/for-rent/

The best geographical data I can find is from Barfoots, which does suggest Central is doing well but that would include the CBD. They also state that the largest increase is for single bed houses, such as CBD shite boxes.

https://www.barfoot.co.nz/market-reports/2017/june/rental-report

What data are you basing your statement on?

A subtle blend of make believe and optimism bias

Yes 4.7% is a significant rise when wages are going no where or even DOWN in some industries with the cheap imported labour.

It's borderline material, that's not the point. The point is, at a time when we supposed to have a "housing crisis" one of the key indicators of a material shortfall of housing accommodation (rents) is not showing a corresponding increase in rents. Far from it.
Rent increases have been very modest when compared with price increases. Yields are pitiful. That's a big flashing light indicator of a speculative bubble.

The rental market is not "over priced" .
It's over full with too much choice.
The housing shortage is a myth, otherwise rents would be soaring.

Hi BigDaddy,

I disagree with you.

All sorts of variables can impact in the short-term - not the least being regulatory interventions.

We don't live in a perfect free-market economy, in case you haven't noticed. There's a lot more to it than textbook supply and demand!

With respect, that's nonsense. The Auckland figures are aggregated across a large sample and I believe would be pretty solid. Figures for other areas with smaller samples may be a bit flakey. What are these "short term interventions" of which you speak? The figures for the last few years show a steady but v modest increase in rentals. This is despite the apparently large levels of migration. The figures show that the accomodation needs in Auckland are generally being met by the accomodation supply. House prices rises in Auckland are not predominantly caused by occupier demand. It's a classic credit bubble

What things are artificially supressing rents? Don't get it

Hi Boobster,

Are you not aware of central/local government interventions such as social housing and a plethora of other non-market features - introduced for both short and long term impact?

Such interventions/regulations are put in place because housing markets left to their own devices can yield very undesirable (social) outcomes.

With Auckland's population increasing at the rate of 45,000 people per annum, anyone can imagine the impact on housing (and people) if the price mechanism alone was to dominate in allocating resources and distributing benefits. In short, only the rich could afford to have a roof over their heads.

I regard interventions (short and long term) in housing markets as highly justifiable.

Just as house prices are bound to rise in the medium/long term, so are interventions bound to be introduced to mitigate the worst effects on our communities.

As I said above, there's a lot more to understanding housing than simplistic supply and demand theory of economic textbooks....... Free markets fail - and this needs to be addressed by prudent Government intervention/regulation.

Yes, but these interventions go largely to support rents, not limit them. I appreciate that these may be desirable. But nothing you have cited is a factor as to why the current market rental price is therefore suppressed or why changes in rental figures are not a proxy for changes in accomodation demand. Even with those supports, rentals in Auckland are not materially increasing. There is no rental control for people in private accomodation, but there may be subvention payments made by the govt to allow lower income groups to pay market rents. So this validates the trademe figures? What's your point?

Hi Boobster,

You write: "Yes, but these interventions go largely to support rents, not limit them."

Do you honestly expect any well-informed person to believe that?!

There are a host of regulations/interventions in the rental housing market that don't directly target rents at all!

Have you ever heard of the Residential Tenancy Act 1986? Obviously you haven't! That Act has all manner of provisions that provide protection to tenants (and landlords) that bears no direct relationship with rent - bonds, notice periods etc.

And how about the new regulations to do with fire alarms and insulation requirements. The latter is, clearly, health and safety stuff.

In short, there is heaps of legislation/regulations that address market failure in residential rental accommodation that wasn't put in place "to support rents", or to limit them for that matter.

Suggest you get yourself better informed about markets, market failure and appropriate responses by central/local government.

It's Bobster not Boobster lol

Whatever

No one suggests there are no regulations they apply to tenancies and rented properties. Of course they do. But rents themselves are not regulated. Outside the small social housing sector, rents are market rate. So when I say market rents are a good proxy for the demand for housing as accomodation, that is right. And those market rents should increase If house prices increase to reflect increases in owner occupier demand. But they haven't, because house price increases are not predominantly caused by occupier demand. They are driven by investor demand and loose lending.

Hi again Boobster,

You write: "Outside the small social housing sector, rents are market rate."

Whatever gave you the idea that the social housing sector is "small"?!

Goodness me.

In any case, rents are not necessary a good indicator of the demand for housing. For instance, there are plenty of people who would love to be able to rent but are forced to stay with friends, families etc and don't even enter the market.

They're known in some places as "discouraged renters". They'd like to rent and would rent - but they're to discouraged to even search for rental accommodation....... They're part of the enormous underlying demand for rental accommodation in cities like Auckland, Wellington and elsewhere.

One would have to be extremely naive to assert that flat (plateauing) rents is an indication that rental demand is being met.

You seem unable to accept the proposition that an increase in demand for housing accomodation (ie not housing as an investment asset) would increase both prices and rents. Why?

Plateauing rents is precisely a sign that housing demand in the rental market is generally being met. An increase in house prices at a time where there is no similar movement in rents indicate that demand for the purchase of houses of houses is driven by considerations not related to supply and demand for accommodation. A serious disconnect between rents and house prices ie falling yields, is a classic indicator of a speculative housing bubble. Yields are at an all time low, the price ratio vs income is at an all time high, and household debt is off the chart at 170%, up from 80% in 1996. I mean, what else do you need you see....it's a speculative bubble

State houses are in aggregate 4% of the nz housing stock. That's small.

Hi Bobster,

Again you mislead.

Social housing includes a lot more housing than just "State houses".

Surely, you must know that!

So add housing run by charitable agencies. What do you get, 5%? It's not a material number. It's small. Houses where accomodation supplement is paid don't count, they are market rent

The State alone owns more than 62,000 rental units.

That's vastly more than 4% of the country's rental stack.

NGO's and local authorities own many more. And then there's privately operated (NfP) social housing.

In aggregate, the number is neither small nor immaterial, even after deducting the accommodation supplement.

State housing is 4%, that was taken from a recent research paper Obviously used to be much higher, not anymore. But who cares? Even if it's 6%, it doesn't affect the validity of the basic proposition that increases in housing accomodation demand will impact both prices and rents, and a significant increase in prices not associated by an increase in rents indicates that demand for house purchases is not driven by demand for housing accomodation and may indicate demand for housing as a speculative investment. I think that's a pretty easy thing to understand and accept.

It's a lot more than 6% and neither is it unimportant.

Further, if the supply curve is elastic then increase in demand (of any amount) won't raise rents. Even the theory predicts that.

Yields are currently low because the market perceives that medium/long term prospects for capital growth are high.

Speculators might well take short-term losses but investors who buy with a long-term horizon are in a different category.

So you are suggesting rents have not risen because suppy of housing accomodation is elastic in the short term? Yet at the same time via the magic of DEMOGRAPHICS house prices have risen because because housing supply is....not elastic?! That's an interesting theory.

Yields are low because house buyers had thought in the short term that prices would go up. They aren't and they won't, so prices will fall and yields will improve

There's nearly always a gap between house prices and rents.

Rents typically follow house prices. Although some people argue it's the other way round.

There's no magic in DEMOGRAPHICS. Rather, it's an anticipated causal effect.

I've no idea whether the supply of rental housing is elastic or not. But if it is, it's easy enough to predict the impact of demand on price. And that applies to any commodity - not just rental housing.

The point is you can't say increase in demand will always lead to an increase in price. Supply is equally as critical in determining price. There are two sides in any (and every) market.

Rents may be flat at the moment - but that doesn't mean they'll stay that way.

As for Auckland house prices, my pick is that they'll stay flat in the short term (or fall marginally) but that the fundamentals (including DEMOGRAPHICS) point to medium/long term gains.

You're welcome to judge me following the passage of time.

As much as you would like to see a sizeable drop in house prices, I expect things will turn to tears for you.

Nope. House prices TYPICALLY follow house prices. I assume by "some people" you refer to OECD and IMF, who know considerably more than you.

Check the data. This indicates NZ property prices are disproportionate to rent and, spolier alert, this ratio wont correct via rent increases (alone).

Your assertion is that house prices will go yp long term, which might be correct ... but how much by, versus what point (the peak or now?) and in real or nominal terms? Then, let time prove it.

Hi MisterB

You write: "Nope. House prices TYPICALLY follow house prices."

Enjoyed that comment! Very witty!

By the way, sincere apologies to Bobster for whom I've been calling an incorrect name. Certainly won't be doing that again, as I feel very embarrassed with myself. Have to put it down to my poor eyesight combined with crappy computer monitor. But compensated by great foresight. (-;

Thanks. Aim to please.

I note your foresight didn't include a more concrete definition on
1) what you see as mid/long term
2) when you say increase, do you mean in real or nominal
3) increase vs. what point - it should be versus the recent peak of Nov, so you're already a bit behind.

Hi Mister B,

It's pretty arbitrary and I wouldn't want to create the spurious illusion of precision but I imagine many people would regard the medium term as somewhere around 3-7 years and the longer term as being longer than that.

Over the long term, at least, I would expect to see increases in real property prices in both Wellington and Auckland - and elsewhere.

If the peak of the last upswing was November 2016, then measure from there.

Need to remember that property (in Auckland) resembles health care - in that the population has an insatiable demand for it. Real estate is so very popular - both as a consumption item and as an investment.

Need to remember that the "insatiable demand" argument has been used to fuel every bubble known in history.

But thanks at least for being specific in medium and long terms. I would agree with your descriptions.

Tangent much?

Perhaps change your handle to @missesthepoint. @bobster has well described a fairly widely accepted view that rental price tends to demonstrate well OO demand and uour only response is to put DEMOGRAPHICS in capitals and talk of intervention.

If anything, regulatory intervention has been the only thing stopping rents falling.. because accomodation supplements directly increase funds available to pay rent and therefore rent paid in those areas increases.

I may have misread your point, but you seem to imply that intervention has kept rents down and eventually demographics will make them increase, despite no corresponding increase in funds available to pay said rent?

Yes, I too am struggling to see the interventions that are artificially suppressing rents.

"I regard interventions (short and long term) in housing markets as highly justifiable"

Presumably this includes the intervention to bring down the cost oh housing by clamping down on investors, tax treatment, CGT, limits on equity to lower risk, DTIs.. since this will bring social benefits.

Although that would fly in the face of your "always up" mantra, right?

Hi MisterB,

Personally, I'd love to see house prices plummet. It would give me the chance to buy my much yearned for villa in Ponsonby. Raise LVR's to 95% by all means - and take away all the tax concessions for landlords. Bring it on!! (-:

But, alas, I have no expectation that's going to happen.

I know my station in life - and sadly it's the slums of the southern suburbs for me....... unless, of course, you guys wish to pass the hat around and buy me a castle.

Ponsonby should be filled with dense housing, not Villas. It's a waste of land that close to CBD to have bungalows.

FYI - you understand the loan restrictions right? "Raise LVRs to 95%" would INCREASE price as it would inflate an already inflated credit bubble.

For the record, I have never said they will plummet, I have affordability will need to return to long term mean. I wouldnt define a 20%-30% drop from peak as a plummet (we're already partway there. Also, if that (or more) did happen, as a leveraged investor, I am not sure that means you can buy a villa ... your equity on your properties would perhaps have gone negative (depending on when you bought) but at minimum your exposure would cause lenders to think twice.

I think a 30% fall would come as a severe psychological shock to people here. Around that point panic may well take over. If investors equity falls to that degree, or even 20%, the negative feedback loop will be such that banks will be forcing sales to improve debt equity ratios on remaining properties. I think it's entirely logical we would get falls like that, but they are big numbers and even I have trouble really contemplating it.

I think villas are nice to keep - to preserve the heritage of the inner city area.

Further, I think there will be an increasing emphasis on doing just that.

If Ponsonby filled up with high rises or other forms of dense living (which I admit is a real risk) then I personally wouldn't aspire to living there.

Am sure there are plenty of developers who would have no hesitation in demolishing Ponsonby's little villas.

That is, the villains would destroy the villas.......

Inner city Auckland has huge appeal for heaps of people. Try finding a reasonable house there now. They're as scarce as rocking horse sh_t.

Talk of 20%-30% price drops in Ponsonby, Freemans Bay etc is far-fetched. Please don't tantalise me!

... how many headline stories of whole families living in their old cars , or squatting in an unheated garage , or sleeping inside the clothing goodwill bins do you need before you accept that rentals have already maxed out to what people can afford to pay for them ?

Spoilt for choice ... yeah ... they could try shipping containers or car crates too ... or a tarpaulin draped over some lower macrocarpa tree branches ...

While there may be stress in certain parts of the market, overall supply and demand is generally well balanced. The rental price tells us that. If there is increased hardship, there is no evidence this is caused by significant increases, because there haven't been any.

Exactly right. I can now proudly say that I just bought my rental in Puhoi after months of searching. Hooray!

Did you really buy it, or is this like the time you said you owned a property in Mission Bay but you didn't really own it as you just got carried away telling a story?

Purchase agreement finalised by lawyer today! I still own a rental in Mission Bay 1071 but not the one you think. You just reminded me that I need to put their rents up coz it's due for renewal next month hehe.

nobody here is dumb enough to believe your lies

You have to say that right, otherwise you gave away your identity as the owner eh.

No this is so very wrong.

Then i guess you gave away one of your clients identities eh ;) you understand that it seems very implausible to talk about "my rental property" when talking about someone elses. Unless you were a) cutting and pasting, b) suffering from multiple personalities or c) forgetting whether you had logged on a Zachary or DGZ.

Remember these posts hang around on the interweb

None of the above thank you. Please move on.

Ok, right. You genuinely referred to yourself as the owner of an unrelated property that was for rent. I will believe you, while thousands wouldn't. Hope my new tenants are ok in my new digs

Double GZ is surely a trolling fraud. If he's as wealthy and successful as he makes out I am sure he wouldn't be posting as much meaningless drivel here as he does. He'd be off wining, dining, travelling the world,
If he is loaded then he's a sad and lonely individual to spend so much time here...

I'm sorry Fritz you have mistaken me. I have never said I am loaded and successful. I am just your average Joe with a 9-5 job in the CBD Mon-Fri. I do have time for holidays but I have to accumulate my leaves like everyone else and have to put in my leave request for approval via SAP. I just happen to live in DGZ and have a few rental properties, still very average in my neck of the woods. The assumptions you have on me are therefore inaccurate.

And yet every post you make adds to the body of evidence that you think you're loaded and successful and everyone else is below you. Nice method acting.

Because this is a ponzi DGZ needs to keep recruiting members otherwise it will collapse. This is an advertising platform for the next sucker. He/she needs more people to become property investors so that there is excessive demand on limited supply, artificially inflating prices - to the gain of those that got into the ponzi early...

Wait !! What are you saying that all the people here are losers ??

Puhoi is great, my mother bought several acres there years go. Absolutely no neighbors and a north facing deck bigger than an apartment that you could sunbath naked on if you wanted too. The place has real character and is such a short trip to Albany with the motorway. Land prices here will rocket at the stroke of a pen as Auckland sprawls.

I hope it will turn out to be a good investment. I bought in this location merely because I have a relative living in the area and is more than happy to manage it for me so that I don't have to use an agency like I do for my other rentals.

It would be interesting to know how many empty houses are in Auckland and other regions that had been banked for speculation with enough capital gains to not bother with renting it, and now the capital gains are not there they have started appearing on the rental market keeping the price stable. Perhaps BigDaddy has a point with the myth.

Put a tax on empty property?

Empty houses are empty for a reason. Owners may not choose to rent them out because they either plan to renovate or keep them as holiday homes. It is not up to anyone else to decide to tax them just because you think they are empty.

Thats your opinion DG..use it or lose it I say

Use it as a holiday home.

Ah the good old clendon park holiday home

I thought this "ghost house" stuff had been put to bed. Didn't the census figure show the level of unoccupied houses to be what you could reasonably expect for a city like Auckland? People move, people sell, some are holiday homes, people renovate. Ghost houses are a non-issue in the context of the market as a whole.

Census data Auckland 2006, 33330 unoccupied homes, census 2013, 33360 unoccupied homes.

That's why accommodation supplement is going up next year to help!! lol

True, the government has looked at the housing crisis and decided that what's needed is more subsidies to property investors.

Rick , What a load of rubbish !! .... you ( and some others) keep repeating this nonsense again and again --- and it is really annoying - it just shows the shallow levels of your comments .... Only people on benefit get subsidies ( called accommodation supplement) and that is there for a good reason ...apparently beyond your comprehension. It's definitely not there to subsidize landlords - you might like to ask WINZ why ...

... So what about the renters who don't get them and are not on the DOL ? what do they pay to landlords ?? Do you think that all renters are poor, Jobless and sick people on income support ?? - I have a tenant who is a sales manager and he is surely on $120-130K a year his Mrs, also works and they pay average rent.

what about landlords who are free hold ?? are these subsidies paying for their mortgages too?? which they dont have !!?

Repeating slogans without giving them a thought is Silly !!

Speaking of rubbish: "Only people on benefit get subsidies ( called accommodation supplement)"

The Accommodation Supplement is open to any NZ citizen or PR with accommodation costs who is over 16 and not in Social Housing but dependent on income and asset tests.
https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/accommodation-su...

Unfortunately, you're simply not correct. You're not thinking about where that money ends up. It flows straight past the beneficiary into the hands of the property owner. National knows this, and that's why they decided in 2015 not to increase the Accommodation Supplement:

But advice from officials from the 2015 Budget showed the decision was made not to raise the accommodation supplement that year because they could not be sure tenants would get the benefit of the extra money.

The concerns about what were described as "landlord capture" were contained in advice from officials at the Treasury and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The Treasury noted this, and National knew it.

[Source]

It's not money a beneficiary gets to hold on to, it's money that goes straight from the taxpayer into the bank accounts of property owners.

It also has distorting effects, as you've identified - by pushing up the amount that people are able to pay at the bottom end of the market, like a rising tide lifts all boats. Thus, property owners benefit again as the rent floor is raised. This is exactly what National knew in 2015.

It's in the same way that Working For Families ("communism by stealth", as John Key called it) ends up through its distorting effect being a supplement for employers. Because taxpayers have to put money in to top up wages for other workers, companies don't have to pay as much to attract people to the area. There's less pressure on employers to lift wages to attract talent, because you and I as taxpayers are subsidising wages through Working For Families.

Hope this helps.

True RickStrauss - and why build state houses when we have motels? When the motels are full, we'll start putting the welfare beneficiaries in the Hilton at the viaduct....

Buy a 70K camper van and park it at Kohi Beach, with this you can have water front property for a fraction of the a property nearby even at current rental slum!

You might last one evening, but wouldn't make two.

Yeah you are dreaming if you think the residents of 1071 will let you get away with it! LOL

lol, they do that only in Wanaka ... park full of Vans on the Lake front .. disgusting really

That's because a lot of the "skilled labour" & students are living in doss houses. They are the 3 & 4 bedroom rentals which have a dozen or so cars parked on the lawn & sprawling out into the street.

Plenty around if you keep an eye out

I reckon aucklands rental stock has been affected by air bnb. A lot of stock that would have been previously rented is now motel/hotel rooms via air bnb.
It would be interesting to try and put a number on it.

Yes, but I think the effect may be limited, as a lot of air BnB is rooms in owner occupied houses rather than whole houses. Rooms in air BnB seem to me to be "new" accomodation that doesn't cut across rentals.

Hope the IRD are on it... and i worry people dont understand their insurance obligations and exposure would likely change i imagine. Like when ubering in your personal car. But i digress... #WEAREDEMOGRAPHICS

Good point STA (Short Term Accomodation) such as Air BnB contravene both the mortgage (it places the owner of the asset at greater risk therefore the loan should be a business not a personal loan) and may also violate the body corporate if in an apartment complex (as this may cause issues with the building insurance as more people living in a place for a short time increases exposure to risk). It is like dating a lot of people instead of having a stable partner!

Might be a good investigatory business opportunity in providing leads to IRD, Mortgage Holders, Insurance companies etc.

Although, as much as they scan Trademe seller listings, I suspect the IRD already have units on that. After all, it would be self funded in multiples of 10+ (eg $1m to run, brings in $10m revenue)

I know of three people who have pulled places off the rental market and moved them to air bnb.

If I could be bothered, there is probably a profit to be made in renting properties and air bnbing them.

Our neighbours at our last property comprised around 4 adult and 4 children filipinos crammed into a 3 bedroom house

The truth is that Asian people like living together as a big family. The children do not fly the nest when they grow up, not until they get married anyway (some don't move even after marriage i.e. the bride moves in). So living together as a big happy family doesn't equate to a crisis situation in this case.

This seems to be changing.

Concern as Elderly Migrants Abandoned to Welfare
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11635692

I have read a couple of articles lately. Crockers research hub recently noted there has been an increase in the auckland apartment market 3 bedroom premium (compared to a 2 bedroom) and in the NZH recently that 5 bedroom houses are growing faster compared to others. The plateau may be due to migrants roomsharing more packing more people in meaning less demand for smaller properties hence the seesaw results in stable. Alternatively it may just be that renters simply can't afford to pay any more rent?

Or both, of course. Because of the latter, they do the former.

Trademe data doesn't give the # I note, so hard to see if the increase in median rent on large houses is off the back of strong numbers. Out in Ormiston / Flat Bush, all the houses are 5bdrm +. Although yields would make no sense (at val = ~$1.5m) , it's better to have it tenanted than returning zilch, given limited flipping capability right now.

Maybe, but I also thought the MBIE HAM affordability study basically indicated that rental affordability had improved up to end 2015: "Housing affordability for renters in Auckland was worse in 2015 than it was before the global financial crisis, but has improved since 2013". I appreciate it's a bit out of date now, but I don't see why things have changed since then, so maybe ithe issue is not an affordability limit? This can be contrasted with purchasing affordability, which had deteriorated.

Can you be more specific?

"Crockers research hub recently noted there has been an increase in the auckland apartment market 3 bedroom premium" - is this increase in builds of this type or an increase in these types of property being rented?

" the NZH recently that 5 bedroom houses are growing faster compared to others" - again. Growing as what what? Proportion of the housing stock or proportion of the rental stock?

Two things Govern rental market and activity:
1- Supply and demand ( availability of both properties and renter at any given time and area)
2- Average affordability for paying (the) rent .. The market could be starving at times but rents would be subdued because renters available at the time can only pay a certain amount - so cannot ask for more in a distressed market - things can change in just few weeks!! ... equally when demand increases ( like for example due to house price pressure or beginning of uni seasons etc) then again rents would rise up to the level of affordability .. and competition plays a big role ... hence over 12 months new averages are formed.
This alternating relationship goes in cycles and circles like a tornado, there is no science in it no timing and can happen in any season ... Both landlords and renters watch carefully and shop around when they make a move ... it is very similar to an undeclared big auction.
One has to be careful to generalise as rent in the same area or suburb could vary from one street to another and there will always be about 10-20% difference depending on the condition of the rental.

Here is some good news to cheer you up:
GDP per capita rose 0.5 percent in the June quarter, up from a 0.3 percent increase in March.
ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie say any growth flows into the economy and eventually into wages.

"If we continue to see unemployment track down, wages will start to move up and people will start to get ahead. "We're seeing real wage growth at the moment of 1.5 percent, but I'm expecting that to grow to 2.5 percent over the next 24 months."

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/money/2016/09/nz-economy-hugely-imbalanced...

Or, only few like to see some good news !! damn

Perhaps the prospect of Kiwis getting a couple of percent more income prompted a re-think on the low skill immigration to get those wages down. Thanks Bill!
Not too sure what you're getting yourself all worked up about; did you actually read that article properly before posting it?

I wonder if Bagrie is still saying that (your link is from September 2016) - the last two quarters show 0.4 and 0.5 growth so about 2% annualised. Our population increased 2.1% - our GDP per capita is going backwards. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/GDP/GrossD...