By Greg Ninness
Housing rents have been rising much more slowly in Auckland than the national average has been rising, with rents declining in parts of the city over the winter months.
Interest.co.nz’s latest analysis of rental bond data shows that the average rent paid for all new tenancies throughout the country, that were reported to Tenancy Services in the September Quarter this year, was $444 a week.
That’s up 5.0% from the September Quarter of last year, and up 10.3% from the same period of 2016.It means tenants throughout the country are paying an average $21 more in rent each week than they were a year ago, and $41 a week more than they were two years ago.
It also suggests that nationally, rents have been increasing at a fairly steady rate for the last two years, however there are significant regional differences.
In Auckland, the average rent was $538 a week in the September Quarter this year, an increase of $17 a week (3.2%) compared to the third quarter 2017, and up $38 a week (7.5%) compared to the third quarter 2016.
That means rents in Auckland are increasing at a slower rate than the national average, both in dollar and percentage terms, and suggests rental growth has particularly slowed in the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months.
However the slowdown in rental growth in Auckland may be more substantial than those figures suggest because interest.co.nz also analyses rents every month on a rolling three month average basis.
That shows the average Auckland rent peaked at $542 a week over the three months to the end of April this year, and then slowly declined to $538 in the three months to the end of September.
Although the size of the falls was modest, it was consistent enough to be a trend.
The only place in the country where the average rent was above $600
However Auckland was not the most expensive place to rent a home. That honour goes to Queenstown-Lakes where the average rent hit a record high of $616 a week in the September Quarter of this year, making it the only place in the country where the average rent was above $600.
And rents in Queenstown are growing much more strongly than the national average, with the September Quarter’s average up 6.3% compared to the same period of last year, and up 15.4% compared to two years ago.
Rental growth has been weakest in Canterbury, with rents in Christchurch being almost flat for the last two years while average rents have actually declined in nearby districts such as Selwyn, Waimakariri and Banks Peninsula (see table below).
Then biggest decline has been in Banks Peninsula where the average rent was $340 in the third quarter of this year, down 10.3% compared to the third quarter of last year.
In percentage terms the biggest increases in the September Quarter compared to a year earlier were in Whanganui +18.2%, Napier +10.8% and Rotorua +10.3%.
Overall rental growth in the Wellington Region also outstripped the national average, with annual growth of 5.8%, although the Kapiti Coast went against the trend and posted annual growth of just 2%.
The table below plots the changes in average third quarter weekly rents in major centres throughout the country from 2016 to 2018.
|Average Weekly Rent for New Tenancies Q3 2016 - Q3 2018|
|Q3 2016||Q3 2017||Q3 2018||1 Year change||2 year change|
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