New Zealand Rent Rises 5.3%

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Median national housing rents rose at an annual pace of 5.3 per cent in November, slowing from a month earlier as rental prices continue to plateau, according to online auction site Trade Me.

The national median rent was $400 a week across all property types in November, unchanged from October, and slowing from a peak annual increase of about 8 per cent in September, Trade Me said.

Christchurch rentals continued to drive the increase, up 5.9 per cent at $450 a week from November 2013, while Auckland rentals were up a more modest 2.2 per cent to $460, and Wellington increased 2.7 per cent to $380.

“There’s less price pressure on tenants and a healthy supply of properties for rent in many areas,” Trade Me head of property Nigel Jeffries said.

“Although the weekly rent is holding steady at $400 per week, the year-on-year increases are trending down.”

Rental prices have increased at a more modest pace than house sale prices, which have caused the Reserve Bank some consternation.

A lack of housing supply in Auckland and Christchurch has driven up prices, prompting the central bank to keep restrictions on home lending with small deposits in place as a means to cool the market.

Three of the country’s 15 regions reported a decline in median rental prices, led by a 9.8 per cent drop in rents at Manawatu/Wanganui to $230 a week, a 4 per cent fall on the West Coast to $240 and a 1.6 per cent decrease in Otago.

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