Major differences between rental housing markets in Auckland and the rest of NZ

The availability of rental properties may be much closer to demand from renters in Auckland, but there are likely to be significant shortages of rental properties in many other regions.

The latest figures from Tenancy Services show the national median rent was $ 540 a week in July, up $ 40 a week (+ 8%) compared to July last year.

That’s based on bonds received for new tenancies in July, making it a leading edge figure because new tenancies set the market rate and most landlords will generally reset rents to the current market rate when they come due for review.

However there were substantial regional differences in rental growth around New Zealand.

In the Auckland region, which is the country’s largest rental accommodation market by far and also the most expensive, the median rent was $ 590 a week in July.

That was up by just $ 10 a week (+ 1.7%) compared to July 2021, which means in dollar terms Auckland’s median rent increased by a quarter as much as the national median over the year to July 2022.

In percentage terms Auckland’s 12 month increase was the second lowest in the country.

Only the Tasman region, which posted a 1% decline, had a lower rate of change.

Around the rest of NZ the only other region with an annual increase of less than 5% was Northland on 4.2%, with annual rent increases in the rest of the country ranging from 5.6% to 12.9%, with five regions – Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Taranaki, Manawatu-Whanganui and West Coast posting double digit annual percentage increases.

The table below shows both the median rent and the number of bonds received in each region in July, and the percentage change in both compared to July last year.

It is significant that several regions – Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, West Coast, Canterbury and Otago, had substantial increases in their median rents in July compared to a year earlier, while also showing significant decreases in the number of bonds received over the same period.

That suggests the rental markets may be particularly tight in these regions, with a shortfall in the number of properties available for rent compared to demand for rentals from tenants.

However it’s likely that supply and demand are more balanced in Auckland, where the number of bonds received in July was up 4.2% compared to July last year, with a much more modest 1.7% lift in rents.

  • You can have articles like this delivered directly to your inbox via our free Property Newsletter. We send it out 3-5 times a week with all of our property-related news, including auction results, interest rate movements and market commentary and analysis. To start receiving them, register here (it’s free) and when approved you can select any of our free email newsletters.