Rent in Southland up, but trails behind increase of rest of the country

House for rent in Dee St, Invercargill.
KAVINDA HERATH/FAIRFAX NZ

House for rent in Dee St, Invercargill.

Southland rents have increased by more than $20 since 2015. 

In February 2015, the average cost to rent in Southland was $225; now it has hit $247.50. 

In Otago, rents increased $45 since 2015. 

Jubilee Budget Advisory Service manager Sharon Soper said Southland had always been known as one of the cheaper places to rent. 

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However, one family moving to Invercargill recently commented the city's rent was now much the same as Dunedin's. 

Families would struggle to find a rental property under $300, Soper said. 

Additionally, the elderly or anyone who wanted to live alone in a one or two-bedroom flat would struggle to find anything under $200. 

The biggest issue the service experiences was the Work and Income supplement not accommodating higher power costs in Southland, she said. 

"The accommodation supplement hasn't gone up, even though the rent has gone up," she said. 

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"The government should [also] take in to account the cost of power." 

In February, the median weekly rent for a typical New Zealand house hit $500 for the first time.

According to the latest Trade Me Property Rental Price Index the annual cost for tenants was $26,000 a year. 

Information from Trade Me property says a typical rental property in New Zealand has 3-4 bedrooms. 

Trade Me Property head Nigel Jeffries said rents have lifted by more than 30 per cent in the past five years.

"Back in 2012, tenants were forking out $380 a week or just under $20,000 per annum for a place with three or four bedrooms," he said. 

"Fast-forward to today's rental market and tenants are staring down the barrel at an additional $6000 on their yearly bill." 

The largest five-year increase in median weekly rent for three to four-bedroom properties was in the Bay of Plenty, where it rose from $340 to $465 – adding $6500 to the annual cost of renting.

Auckland was not far behind, with a rise of $5460 during five years.

 - Stuff

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