Canty's average weekly rent $480

01:28, Jul 08 2013

Demand for rental properties remains highest in the country in Christchurch but has slowed from the first three months of this year, according to Trade Me Property.

Canterbury has the dubious honour of being the second most expansive region to rent.

Trade Me Property has analysed the data on its website from April to June and compared it with the same three months last year.

Auckland was the most expensive place to rent with an average weekly rent of $494, followed by Canterbury with $480 and Wellington with $408.

The rental information is based on the rents landlords are seeking.

Christchurch is still out of step with the rest of the country with rents 22 per cent higher than a year ago compared with a national increase of three per cent.

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Some of the Trade Me figures may include high cost, short-term rentals to insurance companies where the prices are more akin to motel prices and who are accommodating insurance claimants.

Trade Me said demand in Christchurch was 16 per cent higher in the three months April to June than the same three months last year.

However demand in the first three months this year, January to March, was up 30 per cent on the same three months the year before.

Head of Trade Me Property Brendon Skipper said the data a rental shortage was not as dire as some feared.

''There's been continued double-digit growth in the level of enquiries from prospective tenants in Christchurch which is still the strongest of any region.''

''The light at the end of the tunnel is that enquiry levels have decelerated and are up 16 per cent this time around, having been up 30 per cent in the first quarter,'' Skipper said.

Tenants in Christchurch were still being ''squeezed'' with asking rents up 22 per cent on a year ago, compared with the national rise of just 3 per cent.

''This echoes the 24 per cent year-on-year increase we saw last quarter, so Christchurch remains out of step with other parts of the country - there has been no respite for renters.

''The good news is that in the major rental areas, demand has come down to manageable levels after the lofty heights of last quarter when we saw these up between 50 and or 100 per cent in some suburbs. It will be interesting to see if this easing continues next quarter or is just a blip.''

The supply of rental properties was down in the five main Christchurch suburbs, between 9 per cent and 19 per cent.

However demand was up strongly in three - Merivale, Linwood and Christchurch central - and lower in Riccarton, down 6 per cent.

In all five suburbs, rents being asked were between 17 per cent and 26 per cent higher than a year ago.

The dearest rental was $5000 a week for a house in Takapuna on Auckland's North Shore and the cheapest $45 a week for a property in Ohakune.

The Press