Pressure eases in rental market

Last updated 10:16 12/04/2013

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Landlords may struggle to find tenants as more properties hit the rental market, particularly in Auckland.

Online advertiser Trade Me Property said today the number of properties advertised on its website in the March quarter jumped 5 per cent, while demand from prospective tenants eased 2 per cent, compared with a year ago.

The average asking price for rents rose 3 per cent.

Head of Trade Me Property Brendon Skipper believed the increase in rental supply was due to low interest rates luring more people back into the property market.

"On the flip-side, demand from tenants has been diluted as they have more rental stock to choose from," he said.

"This means landlords will be working harder to secure a great tenant, especially if they have a property that doesn't tick all the boxes."

In Auckland, rental listings rose 22 per cent in Manukau, 14 per cent in Auckland city, 12 per cent in Waitakere and 16 per cent on the North Shore.

At the same time, tenant inquiries, or demand, dropped 12 per cent in Auckland, 11 per cent in Waitakere and 7 per cent on the North Shore. Only in Manukau did demand bounce back, up 2 per cent.

Predictably, the biggest increase in rent was in quake-hit Christchurch, where asking prices rose 24 per cent on the back of a 30 per cent lift in demand.

Listings were 19 per cent lower as the city struggles to rebuild its housing supply.

The market also tightened in Wellington, with available listings down 3 per cent and enquiries up 2 per cent, although rents were flat.

This was an improvement from the December quarter, when supply was up 13 per cent and demand was down 7 per cent.

Hutt Valley, on the other hand, was "running hot," with demand second only to Christchurch. Demand surged 19 per cent and asking prices for rent rose 6 per cent, despite listings rising 8 per cent.

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