Wellington Propertyscouts

Capital's rental drought sends rents to new high: Trade Me - 8th Feb 2017

Flat hunters have had the upper hand in some regions but not in Wellington, where rentals are in short supply.
 
Flat hunters have had the upper hand in some regions but not in Wellington, where rentals are in short supply.
 
Apartments or small houses have the fastest-growing rents in the country, and Wellington rents are breaking records.
 
According to January figures from Trade Me, the Capital's rental shortage has boosted median weekly rents to a new record of $480 a week, up 6.8 per cent on a year ago. The rise has added $1500 to their annual rental costs.
 
Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries confirmed Wellington had seen a sharp drop in the number of properties available for rent, with advertisements down 70 per cent from last year on its website.
 
"A flat in Wellington received almost 100 enquiries within hours of being listed, and 350 enquiries in a week. It's a story that property managers around the capital can probably relate to right now."
 
Jeffries said such rental peaks were usually seasonal, easing back as autumn approached.
 
"It remains to be seen whether we'll see median weekly rents in the capital break $500 but we'll be watching with interest."
 
Nationally, rent rose a more moderate 3.4 per cent higher than they did last January, at a time of year when many people are moving and rents are raised.
 
"While these figures are pretty modest in the face of spiralling house prices, this level of inflation is far above the level of consumer and wage inflation and is a struggle for those feeling stuck in the rental market," Jeffries said.
 
Regionally, however, rents fluctuated widely, jumping 12.5 per cent in Hawkes Bay, 11.4 per cent in Waikato, and 8.5 per cent in Northland.
 
All three regions have enjoyed strong interest from property investors compared to their biggest neighbour, Auckland, which faces higher lending restrictions designed to slow that market down.
 
Rents in Auckland increased only 4 per cent, suggesting to some economists that renters are unable to pay much more and landlords have been satisfied with capital gains.
 
Along with Wellington and Northland, another region to break new ground was Manawatu, where median rents hit a new high of $300, up 7.1 per cent.
 
Not all tenants faced a higher accommodation bill. Rents continued to fall in Gisborne, the West Coast and Canterbury, declining 6.9 per cent, 9.4 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively.
 
The appetite for smaller living quarters was also a continuing theme. Rents on urban properties including townhouses and units rose 2.5 per cent to $410, but apartments rose 6 per cent to $445.
 
Auckland apartments regained some momentum after shooting up early last year, with the median weekly rent at $480, nearly 7 per cent higher than last year.
 
Wellington apartments also edged higher at $460 per cent, up 4.5 per cent.
 
Townhouses in both centres peaked at $595 in Auckland, up 7.2 per cent, and $550 in Wellington, up 14.6 per cent.

For full article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/89183181/capitals-rental-shortage-sends-rents-to-new-high-trade-me

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