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May 13, 2013 | by  | in News |
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A Flat Note

Rent’s going up, but it’s not as bad as it sounds, with recent data showing modest increases in Wellington’s rents for the last year.

The national average increase in rents as a whole was four per cent, with Wellington’s rents rising at a slower rate than the rest of the country. Figures from the Department of Building and Housing show average rent in Wellington was $442 in March, a 3.2 per cent rise from the same time last year when average rent was $402.

Despite rising at a slower rate than the national average, Wellington’s average rent of $442 is still over $80 higher than the national average rate of $361. Though Auckland’s rents fell on average by 1.7 per cent last year, the average rent in the city is 36 per cent higher than the rest of the country. Canterbury’s average rent did not change significantly last year.

While the gap in the numbers is clear, Wellington remains one of the most affordable large cities in New Zealand for renting according to the Department of Building and Housing.

This is a positive change for renters, after a 2011-to-2012 increase of 14 per cent in Wellington’s average rent meant those renewing tenancies were in for a sharp rise. Both last year’s modest increase and the sharp rise from 2011 to 2012 were abnormal,
with rent typically rising between 6 and 8 per cent in any given year.

Rents rose and fell at different rates across Wellington from 2012 to 2013, the largest increases being 20 per cent in Johnston Hill, Karori, 11 per cent in Lambton, and 12 per cent in Vogeltown. Brooklyn, Newtown, Miramar, Kingston, and parts of Aro Valley also rose by up to ten per cent.

Residents of Mt Cook saw a nine per cent decline in average prices, while Karori rents (excluding Johnston Hill) fell 6.5 per cent.
Rents in Kilbirnie, Thorndon, Mt Victoria and Kelburn all fell slightly.

Data show those willing to live further out of the city centre are rewarded with much lower rents, with average rents in Porirua ($341), Lower Hutt ($315) and Upper Hutt ($298) all significantly lower than both Wellington City rents, and the national average rent. However, transport costs for commuters from these areas often mean savings are marginal.

All current market-rent data can be viewed at dbh.govt.nz/market-rent.

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