Auckland rent skyrockets

Auckland is the least affordable place in New Zealand to buy a house and the most expensive to rent, new figures show.

Auckland tenants are paying 7.4 per cent more in rent than they were a year ago, according to the latest data from Department of Building and Housing.

This is ahead of the 5.1 per cent increase the rest of New Zealand has seen for rents in the year to February.

House prices have been rising in Auckland since the end of 2010, ahead of the increases nationwide.

"Overall, pressure in the Auckland housing market for both rental properties and homes to own is rising," the department's report states.

"With the population expected to grow, Auckland needs more affordable new builds. Auckland remains the least affordable city in New Zealand for both home owners and renters."

There is more demand for larger houses, with rents for houses that have three or more bedrooms rising faster than one and two bedroom properties.

"Rents [in Auckland] are continuing to rise and are well above the national average," the report said.

Although there are slow signs of improvement in the construction sector, building consents were down 10.4 per cent last month from January.

Auckland Now