8 Feb 2017

Wellington's record rents near Auckland prices

2:53 pm on 8 February 2017

Record-breaking rent prices in Wellington mean tenants are paying, on average, more than a thousand dollars a year more than last year.

Wellington houses.

Photo: 123RF

Trade Me property data shows the median asking price for rental properties in the capital has risen nearly 7 percent compared to last January.

At $480 per week, Wellington's median asking price for weekly rent is $40 less than Auckland's.

That figure is nearly 25 percent higher than five years ago, when median rents were slightly more than $390 a week.

Trade Me's head of property, Nigel Jeffries, said the surge was caused by a 70 percent decline in the number of rental properties advertised over the past year.

Mr Jeffries said this created a situation where demand was outstripping supply, with some new rentals receiving hundreds of inquiries every week.

Latest labour market and tenancy figures showing rents in Auckland and Wellington are rising faster than wage growth.

Economist and Generation Rent author Shamubeel Eaqub said last week that renting in Wellington was becoming unaffordable.

Buying a home in the capital was also getting more expensive.

Last week, Realestate.co.nz chief executive Brendon Skipper said Wellington house prices were up 5.6 percent because of low levels of supply.

The median price of a home in Wellington hit a record $530,000 in December, up 21 percent on the previous year.

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