21 May 2024

Bay of Plenty more expensive than Auckland for renters

10:33 am on 21 May 2024
Houses around Lyttelton area in Christchurch

Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The Bay of Plenty is the most expensive region in the country for renters with median rents nearing $700 a week.

The region topped the median weekly rent ladder in April, according to the latest Trade Me Property report, at $690 a week.

The Auckland median rent sits at $680 a week.

In terms of the national picture, the report is again showing a "flattening" of the rental price, with the national median remaining at $650.

Bay of Plenty (0.7 percent) is one of a handful of regions to see a rise in median rent prices, including Waikato (1.8 percent), Taranaki (3.2 percent), Wellington (3.1 percent) and Otago (1.7 percent).

Trade Me's Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said the numbers would be unsettling for renters in the Bay.

"While we've certainly seen sharper rent hikes in the past, this comes at a time where rents are already at record highs, so no doubt many households will be worried about what this means for their back pocket," he said.

"It's particularly challenging in Tauranga. The median rent is now at a record $730 which is a significant chunk of money for a family on the average wage.

"That's the third priciest in the country, behind Auckland's North Shore at $740 and Queenstown Lakes and Wanaka at $950."

But there were slight downturns in other areas including Nelson and Tasman which dropped 3.4 percent to $570.

Auckland (-1.4 percent), Northland (-1.7 percent) , Hawkes Bay (-1.5 percent) and Manwatū-Whanganui (-1.8 percent) also saw rents dip.

Lloyd said this was a "positive sign" for renters.

"Looking at the past year, rents have been running hot, rising faster than inflation and wage growth unfortunately hasn't kept pace," he said.

"For a few months now we've seen supply catching up with demand and it looks like we might now be starting to see those shifts.

"That trend is continuing with an 8 percent increase in supply and an 8 percent decrease in demand from March to April.

"We'll likely see more stable rents in the near to medium term,"

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