Demand for rentals 'growing' in Napier

While new statistics indicate a surplus of Hawke's Bay rental properties, that's not the case in Napier, a local realtor says.

Trade Me property figures show Hawke's Bay rental listings have jumped 14 per cent year-on-year while demand fell 1 per cent.

The average cost of rent was unchanged.

Harcourts Napier business development manager Andrew Williams said while there was a surplus of listings in the wider Hawke's Bay, demand for rentals in Napier had been growing.

"We're actually looking for more properties to bring on board to manage."

Rents had remained stable and Mr Williams didn't expect them to rise by much.

"Towards the end of last year we were actually having to reduce rents slightly - only marginally, like $10 a week or so - just to get movement on a property.

"It's an interesting time - put it that way."

Mr Williams said the usual adage of any properties that were in a good condition, in the right neighbourhoods and school zones, would fill quickly.

Due to favourable house prices and low interest rates, many tenants had moved from renting into their first homes, he said.

The Trade Me figures showed that nationwide, supply is outstripping demand for rentals in almost all regions, bringing rents to a standstill.

The quarterly figures - covering October to December last year - show the number of available listings rose 8 per cent year-on-year, led by double digit growth in Manukau, North Shore, Wellington and Hamilton.

The figures were a turnaround from the previous year, Trade Me head of property Brendon Skipper said.

The market could be the result of renters moving into home ownership amid record low interest rates and people staying put in their rentals longer, he said.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) chief executive Helen O'Sullivan agreed and said the figures also reflected a time of year when many students left their flats and people were winding down, so less likely to move.

Christchurch, however, was an exception and remained at odds with the rest of the country, Mr Skipper said.

"The long-term impact of the earthquake on rental stock continues to bite, with listings down 18 per cent on a year ago."

Many landlords outside Christchurch were struggling in over-supplied rental markets, and may need to drop rents to lure tenants, he said.



- Hawkes Bay Today

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