Tenants feel heat as population growth creates shortage of rental properties.

Renters are paying up to $60 more a week than they were a year ago for properties across some of Auckland's 30 suburbs.

Prices for all suburbs have gone up for two and three-bedroom properties according to figures from Crockers.

The property management company looked at median prices over the six months to February 2015, compared with the same period last year.

In Devonport, rents for two- and three-bedroom houses have increased on average $60 per week, to $495 (up 13 per cent) and $678 (up 10 per cent) respectively. The next biggest increases were in Takapuna and Milford, up 10 per cent for two-bedroom houses to $531 per week.

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There were also big rises in Meadowbank, Glendowie and Remuera South where two and three-bedroom rentals have increased 9 per cent, up to $450 and $653 per week respectively.

Crockers calculated the average median rent using the number of bonds lodged for each of those months with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and data received from the Real Estate Institute for one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom homes.

Only a handful of the suburbs analysed for all sized houses went down, with the rest across the city growing on average from 3 per cent to 6 per cent.

By comparison rents across the country have increased 4.2 per cent.

Crockers marketing manager Kim Sinclair said Auckland rents were steadily increasing but had not gone through the roof as predicted.

"It has actually been [an increase of] 4 per cent for quite some time until November 2013, then it crept up to 5 per cent and then in this last month it's 6 per cent.

"That increase is the fastest rate of increase we've seen since mid-2008.

"What's happening is, as people are finding it harder to get into first homes, the next option is to look at somewhere else to rent."

Crockers had teamed with economic forecasting company Infometrics to review the market and predicted low interest rates would have a bearing on rents.

"One factor that may keep rents subdued in the next six months is the lower mortgage rates that are on offer. Those low borrowing costs might reduce the need for landlords to put up rents."

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Colleen Milne said the number of houses in Auckland had not grown at the same rate as Auckland's population, which had grown at 8.5 per cent, resulting in a housing shortage.

She said with 50 per cent of new migrants settling in Auckland, fewer Kiwis moving to Australia and the introduction of stricter mortgage lending criteria, people were renting for longer.

Ms Milne said that while most landlords had been reluctant to increase rents since the global financial crisis, the housing shortage could force rent rises in inner suburbs in the near future.

Home truth - 'It's a real competition'

Yvette Martin says if the rent went up on her Royal Oak home, it would be unaffordable.

"It would affect us quite a bit because power, water and gas in Auckland aren't cheap. If it went up substantially we'd find somewhere else to live."

The 20-year-old fashion designer lives with her boyfriend and three flatmates in a three-bedroom home which they found over Christmas. Together, they pay $640 a week.

They took up to six weeks to find the house.

"It's a real competition trying to find a house before someone else does," Miss Martin said.

"We told the agent to not show anyone else so we could have it. Before we found this place we had been rejected from seven others."

The flatmates' last three-bedroom place down the road in Epsom had only one bathroom and the rent went from $540 to $580 per week after they moved out.

But Miss Martin believes the rent at her new house is well-priced because the house was in good condition, in a "great location", and came with two bathrooms and two living areas.

Tenants' dilemma

10

Per cent rise in weekly rents in many Auckland suburbs over last 12 months.

4.2

Per cent rise across New Zealand in same period.