Wellington rents remain stagnant for the first time in five years

by Roxanne Libatique24 Sep 2020

The median weekly rent in Wellington has become stable in August – showing no signs of increasing for the first time since October 2015, according to the latest data by Trade Me.

The latest Trade Me Rental Price Index revealed that the median weekly rent in Wellington last month remained flat compared to August 2019, at $550 per week.

Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said the lack of change was surprising considering the 20% increase in demand in the region last month compared to 2019.

“The Wellington region has experienced huge rental growth in the last few years, and this is the first time we have seen Wellington rents stall since they first took off in late 2015,” Clancy said.

“The pause can't be put down to the government's move to freeze rental prices as this rule only applies to existing tenancy agreements.”

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The increase in smaller properties in the rental market had most likely halted the prices in the region. However, it might not be too long until they move again.

“In August, we saw a 13% increase in the number of small (one to two-bedroom) properties listed for rent in the Wellington region,” Clancy said.

“In the coming months, if demand remains high, landlords will be looking to get the most for their investment. Also, landlords who need to get their rentals up to spec to meet the new Healthy Homes regulations standards will undoubtedly pass those costs on.”

On the bright side, slowing prices would benefit many tenants in the region, according to Clancy.

“Renters in Wellington have been faced with exponential price increases in recent years and have become accustomed to record-breaking rents, with the rental market almost unrecognisable when compared with just five years ago,” he said.

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