30 Oct 2020

Porirua most expensive region to rent, according to Trade Me

12:33 pm on 30 October 2020

A rental website shows Porirua is now New Zealand's most expensive region to rent a house, ahead of Wellington and Auckland.

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Porirua Harbour. Photo: kayjayimages/123RF

Trade Me's rental price index puts the median rental in Porirua at $625 a week - with rents rising by 25 percent since last year.

Trade Me's property spokesperson Logan Mudge told Morning Report Porirua had edged ahead of Wellington as the most expensive place to rent.

Wellington's median rental is $600 a week.

"It's the Porirua district, which encapsulates Tawa north until about we hit Kapiti, so rents have been climbing all year, sort of neck-and-neck with Wellington city and we saw this jump in September which is pretty incredible.

"Demand is up, and I guess landlords are able to make the most of that and claim top dollar for those properties they have got there."

Mudge said Porirua had a lot of bigger housing rather than townhouses or apartments, which could cost less.

"In Porirua and around Porirua there are some big subdivisions ... with big houses, so they can command some pretty hefty rents. And thanks to the lockdown and so on, people are happy to venture out of the city when they can work from home and so on.

"When you think about Porirua you think about more working class and less affluence but it certainly has those bigger suburbs now which are attracting big rents and big property prices, too.

A housing advocacy group in Porirua said it was deeply worrying that the city now had the most expensive rents in the country.

Housing Action Porirua's Jasmine Taankink said rentals in the traditionally working-class area were now unaffordable for many families.

Successive governments had sold off state housing to property investors, many of whom charged high rents for substandard properties, she said.

Mudge said demand was "massive" in the capital, and the supply of housing never seemed to keep up with it.

He expected rental and sale figures would climb.

In Auckland, things seemed to have slowed a bit, Mudge said.

"Demand and supply are levelling out. Auckland is still seeing price rises, but nothing like Wellington."

Auckland's median weekly rent was $570. Nationally, the median weekly rent was $510 in September, while rents have risen three percent in the last year.

Demand in September was up in all but four regions when compared with the same month last year, with the Bay of Plenty (32 percent), Nelson/Tasman (26 percent), Hawke's Bay (25 percent) and Canterbury (23 percent), all seeing demand increase by more than 20 percent year-on-year, according to Trade Me.

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