Demand for city rentals on the increase

Seasonal pressure has hit central Wellington's rental property market, with city fringe suburbs renting quickly and student flats in demand.

Data from listings website Trade Me Property showed an 8 per cent increase in available properties during the December quarter. Email enquiries received fell 5 per cent compared with the previous year.

Property management franchise Quinovic's Vivian St branch co-owner Steven Dacombe-Bird said it was typical for the Wellington rental property market to slow leading up to Christmas.

"As soon as we get back to work in January, all hell breaks lose.

"It is a pretty predictable cycle. I think we let 21 properties last week, which was not a record, but it was encouraging. With the way 2012 ended up I was pleasantly surprised to see the level of activity we're seeing now. I didn't think it was going to kick off at all, but I've had my faith restored, things are back under way."

Trade Me Property figures show that the average rents sought for Wellington properties it had listed were unchanged from a year ago.

Homefinders principal Amanda Magill said the market was much busier than the same time last year.

"I came back to work on the 4th of January and I've been quite busy.

"We're always busier in January and February, but last year there was a definite dip, I think possibly due to uncertainty because of jobs, but there is more movement now."

Magill found student-suitable flats close to universities and public transport were renting quickly. Properties in suburbs, such as Mt Cook and Mt Victoria, were in high demand from students, but properties further out, even in suburbs close to town, such as Brooklyn, were slower to secure tenants.

"Student flats, like your $700-a-week for 4 bedrooms, are coming out of the woodwork and there is quite a lot of demand for those sorts of properties," she said.

Contact Jazial Crossley
Wellington business reporter
Twitter: @msbananapeel

The Dominion Post