New Zealand Property News

Rental prices in Auckland steady as activity rise, new data shows

Rental prices in Auckland steady as activity rise, new data shows
Property rental activity is rising across Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, while rental values are steady, according to the latest data to be published.

The average weekly rent across Auckland in August increased just $4 to $496, up less than 1% on July and just 6% year on year from $467 in August 2014. This compares to a 15% increase in residential property sale prices Auckland wide.

‘This indicates that landlords are not pushing to recover the full current purchase price, presenting Auckland renters with reasonable value for money,’ said Kiri Barfoot, of real estate firm Barfoot & Thompson.

Growth in the number of large central city apartments and sizable family homes in the Eastern suburbs were strong drivers behind the overall, albeit minor increase, she pointed out. ‘These large and luxurious apartments in the city and substantial homes to the east are attracting top prices,’ she added.

August’s weekly average for a three plus bedroom apartment in the city was $806, while a five plus bedroom home in the Eastern suburbs attracted $1,051 on average. Meanwhile, the more rural areas of Manukau and Franklin were the cheapest areas to rent, offering three bedroom homes for under $400 average, at $395 per week. Auckland rental prices have increased by 6.3% over the last 12 months, from an average of $467 to $496.

Compared to August 2014,the average weekly rent for one bedroom properties has risen by 4.2% while two bedroom homes are up by 5.9%, three bedroom by 5.7%, four bedroom by 5.4% and five or more bedroom by 5.3%.

Franklin/Manukau Rural remains the cheapest area to rent a property, across all property sizes. The Central City is the most expensive area for one, two and three bedroom properties.
The Eastern Suburbs continue to have the highest priced large properties, with four bedroom properties receiving an average of $783, and five plus bedroom properties receiving $1,051.
Barfoot also said that the city is seeing a rapid increase in online property rental activity with applications up by 28% in August compared to July.

It signals an early start to the traditionally busy spring and summer periods and the August data shows a 61% rise when compared to the early winter month of May. Rental property searches online also increased by 26% between July and August.

‘It’s a typical spring trend, but we are seeing it take hold earlier each year as people try and get in ahead of the crowds. It is likely activity will also peak earlier this year, prior to, rather than after, the Christmas holidays,’ said Barfoot.

She said that property managers are reporting that many tenants are thinking ahead to next winter and seeking homes that were warm and dry. ‘Homes with insulation and efficient heating, such as heat pumps, are highly sought after and we encourage our landlords to upgrade their properties in this way,’ she pointed out.

To help manage the growing numbers the company has continued to invest in online services, including a Book a Viewing app and the ability to apply to rent a property through online forms.
‘This makes for a streamlined experience for the potential tenant, and provides landlords with measurable insights around the number of bookings, viewings and applications for their home, as well as feedback on how they might maximise their rental returns,’ Barfoot explained.