Wellington is probably the best place in New Zealand to be a landlord at present, Trade Me says.
It has released its analysis of the final quarter of last year.
Christchurch again reported strong growth in listings and Auckland’s were stable but Wellington showed a sharp decline.
Nationwide, the number of properties available to rent in the quarter was down 2% on a year ago. At the same time, inquiry from tenants was up 5% and the average rent was up 6%.
Acting head of Trade Me property Jimmy McGee said Wellington’s market reported a big drop in supply, down 17% compared to the year before. This was largely driven by a softer apartment market. In 2012, several new apartment complexes had been competing for tenants.
While the number of homes to rent was down, tenant inquiry levels were up 21% across Wellington. Newtown was the most popular, up 41%.
“With the supply side tightening, it’s no surprise to see the demand from prospective tenants increase. Landlords in Wellington with good properties are in the box seat at present,” McGee said.
There was not much movement in the Auckland market.
“We’ve seen the number of available listings dip 3% on last year, average rent is up 3% across the region and tenant enquiries were up 2%,” he said.
Mount Roskill saw the most growth in the region with listings up 31% and a corresponding decline in the average level of inquiries per listing, down 20%.
Christchurch’s rental stock was growing strongly.
The number of listings in the city was up 24%, McGee said. In the central city, there were 37% more properties available than the same time a year ago.
McGee said: “The rebuild phenomenon continues to drive listings growth and rent increases in the city. We’re still seeing a significant proportion of short-term, high-rent listings driving the market as displaced home owners move out for insurance repairs.”
Canterbury’s average weekly rent is the highest in the country, at $535, because of the influence of short-term rentals. Its median rent is $453, below Auckland’s $480.
McGee said he expected improving confidence to drive asking price rises.