The median weekly cost of renting a house in New Zealand has risen more than six per cent on a year ago, underpinned by a heated rental market in Christchurch, according to the Trade Me Property Rental price index.
Rents are rising faster than property asking prices, which indicates things are tightening up for tenants, said Trade Me Property head Nigel Jeffries.
The new index measures rental trends for more than 10,000 properties listings through Trade Me Property by private landlords and property managers in October.
Mr Jeffries said the rate of increase in rents nationwide had been steep over the past three months.
The biggest rise has been in what he called the "scorching" rental market in Christchurch where median weekly rents have jumped 20 per cent year-on-year to a new record high of $510 per week, compared to $425 a year ago.
The highest median rent nationwide is $805 per week for five-bedroom-plus houses in Christchurch.
"With 12,000 houses removed from the city and an influx of workers moving in for the rebuild, the rental market remains under pressure in Christchurch," he said.
The increase in median weekly rents was also strong in Wellington, up 9.5 per cent on a year ago.
Mr Jeffries said the rise was across the board in the capital with the largest homes now attracting $700 a week, up 27 per cent on a year ago.
Auckland remained reasonably stable with a two per cent year-on-year increase in median weekly rent to $460 per week although the market is dominated by three and four-bedroom houses which had a five per cent rise.
By Fiona Rotherham