Auckland rents increase in line with doctor visits and beer

The average weekly rent in Auckland over the past five years has increased less than the price of petrol, and increased only marginally more than a glass of beer or a visit to the doctor.

"The average weekly rent in Auckland in 2014 was $488, compared with $388 in 2009, which is an increase of 26 percent," said Kiri Barfoot, a director of Barfoot & Thompson.

"According to the Government publication New Zealand In Profile, in the same period a litre of 91 octane petrol has increased by 32 percent, while a 400 ml glass of beer and an adult visit to the doctor have both increased by 22 percent.

"With the average Auckland house price increasing by 38 percent in the same period, it means that tenants are not paying over the top in terms of weekly rentals, and that landlords are not recovering in full the current purchase price of properties.

"Based on our data, the average gross return being made on rental accommodation by landlords is 3.5 percent.

"Given that rental accommodation is in short supply, it means landlords are not taking advantage of the situation to push rentals higher.

"When we surveyed landlords late last year, less than 20 percent said that they intended to increase rents in the next 12 months, and of that group, the maximum rental increase they thought reasonable in the current market was 5 percent.

"It's interesting to note that the average rent in Auckland is 68 percent or $198 higher that the average weekly rent for all of New Zealand.

"It highlights the disparity that Aucklanders are paying in terms of house prices and for rental accommodation."