Rental season starts early in New Zealand

Photo:   Craigsydnz

The rental season is off to an early start in New Zealand, as demand surges in August.

Estate agent Barfoot & Thompson is reporting a 28 per cent rise in rental applications last month compared to July and 61 per cent compared to early winter of May. Rental property searches online also increased by 26 per cent month-on-month.

“This signals an early start to the ‘shifting season’, when tenants begin to look elsewhere for properties that might better suit their needs,” says Kiri Barfoot, who oversees the company’s property management services.

“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’s likely activity will also peak earlier this year – prior to, rather than after, the Christmas holidays.”

While activity has increased, Ms. Barfoot says rental prices are steady.

The average weekly rent across Auckland in August increased just $4 to $496, up less than 1 per cent on July and just 6 per cent year-on-year (from $467 in August 2014).

This compares to a 15 per cent 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.”

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.

“These large and luxurious apartments in the city and substantial homes to the east are attracting top dollar.”