Higher Auckland house prices are not flowing through directly into the rental market, with the city’s average weekly rents continuing to follow a more tempered trend of year-on-year increases of around 5%.
Average rent for three bedroom home
The average weekly rent for a three bedroom home in Auckland during the April to June quarter was $514, up less than 1% on last quarter and 4.8% on the same quarter in 2015.
"Three bedroom rentals make up around 40% of our managed properties, making them a good measure of the market," says Barfoot & Thompson Director Kiri Barfoot.
"Other property categories generally follow the same trend, albeit at lower or higher price points depending on the number of bedrooms."
One bedroom properties averaged $335 per week (up 5% from $319 in the April to June quarter 2015), and two bedrooms $428 (up 6.2% from $403), while 4 bedroom homes brought in $648 (up 4.2% from $622) and 5+ bedroom homes averaged $801 (up 4.8% from $764).
Pricing trends continued across the suburbs as well, with the Central Auckland apartment market remaining the most expensive for smaller properties of one, two or three bedrooms, and the Eastern suburbs maintaining position as the most expensive for four or more bedrooms.
"Outside the city apartment market, it continued to be a story of two halves for Auckland's North and South this quarter too," says Ms Barfoot.
South Auckland rental properties saw the greatest percentage increase year-on-year for the quarter of 6.8%, while North Shore rental prices experienced the least percentage increase (not including Central Auckland), only rising 3.7 %."
Rental hot spots
Looking more closely at rental data from the first two quarters of this year compared to the last two quarters of 2015 (January to June 2016 and July to December 2015), three suburbs broke the mold with three bedroom rental averages increasing 11% or more. These were Mt Albert up 14.7%, Parnell up 11.7% and Sandringham up 11.6%.
"These areas are centrally located but still offer the benefits of suburban living, making them popular choices.
"These areas are fast becoming popular as the 'new central suburbs', the next Ponsonby and Grey Lynns if you will, and our data suggests continued future growth particularly for Mt Albert and Sandringham." Read the full hot spots story
Winter maintenance and comforts
Ms Barfoot says the company anticipates a pre-spring upswing in rental activity during the coming quarter, when they typically see a slight increase in new letting.
"While not as pronounced as summer spikes, we often find a number of tenants are eager to move on from properties during the cold winter months and as we head into spring.
"It's therefore a good time to remind landlords to keep on top of winter maintenance and look at ways to make their homes more comfortable with affordable heating, insulation and so on.
"In addition to meeting some new legislation requirements early, these are the sorts of things that help keep tenants in a property longer, or make a home more attractive for those looking to rent in the coming months."