Trade Me data: Rental increases continue

Ad nationwide rent freeze hasn’t stopped the cost of renting from creeping up, new data shows.

Trade Me Property spokesman Aaron Clancy said the rental market seemed to be returning to normal in May, following a slow few months since lockdown began.

“The number of properties available to rent in May was up 56 per cent on April 2020, and 3 per cent on the same time last year.

“As we entered level 2 and Kiwis returned to their new normal in May, we saw both supply and demand for rentals bounce back after a turbulent few months. So far it looks like both tenants and landlords have confidence in the market.”

“Over the coming months we expect to see higher demand for rentals than we usually would over winter. Lockdown likely made some tenants rethink their current rental and, anecdotally, we’re hearing that a lot of Kiwis have returned from overseas and are looking for somewhere to live. We expect that this could add pressure to the market and make it harder for tenants to secure the property they want.”

It’s believed that the Government’s move to freeze residential rent increases for six months from March had not stopped the national median weekly rent from increasing in May. “The national median weekly rent was $510 in May – a 2 per cent increase when compared to May 2019.”

The rental freeze did not apply when houses were relisted for new tenancies, so price increases were still happening.

“If demand does drop off, or there is oversupply, we could see prices slow down.

Meanwhile, falling interest rates were making rental property investment an appealing prospect, even in Auckland, real estate agency Barfoot & Thompson said.

The rental yield is a measure of the amount of rent a tenant will pay for a property compared to its purchase price.

“For those considering an investment purchase, key right now is finding an individual property with numbers that stack up, and that is less exposed to current vacancy pressures.”


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