There were more rental properties available in the first quarter of this year, and fewer tenants looking for them, according to Trade Me. But the problem seems to be confined to Auckland.
The online auction site has revealed its data for the first quarter.
But it said the numbers were skewed by what was happening in the country's biggest city. Christchurch and parts of Wellington are reporting the exact opposite situation.
Head of Trade Me Property Brendon Skipper said Manukau had a 22% increase in rental supply and North Shore a 16% lift.
He said interest from tenants was not keeping up in the old Auckland City, where demand was down 12%, and on the Shore, where demand had dropped 7%. Waitakere also reported an 11% drop in demand but Manukau’s demand lifted 2% across the quarter.
Skipper said increasing property values and low interest rates were tempting investors into the market.
“On the flipside, demand from tenants has been diluted as they have more rental stock to choose from. This means landlords will be working harder to secure great tenants, especially if they have a property that doesn’t tick all the boxes.”
By comparison, the Wellington rental market had tightened, with listings down 3% and inquiry numbers up 2%.
In the Hutt Valley, demand from tenants was “running hot”, Skipper said.
“There’s good news for landlords in Lower Hutt as it was second only to Christchurch in terms of the level of interest from tenants with a 19% surge this quarter. Strong demand has flowed into asking rents too, as they’ve ticked up 6%.”
In Christchurch, there is 19% less available rental stock than the same time last year. But available properties are reporting 30% more inquiry, rising to 50% in the city’s central areas.\Skipper said: “It’s no surprise to anyone that the constraint in supply and huge interest from renters have conspired to see average rents up by 24% on a year ago, compared with single-digit increases elsewhere, and way ahead of the national average of 3%.”