Apartment, townhouse and unit rents have reached an all-time high, up 6.3 per cent nationally in the past year to $420/week but 20 per cent in the past three years, the latest Trade Me Property rental index showed.

Nigel Jeffries, Trade Me Property head, said this morning that rents for these types of properties were on average $420/week but much higher in Auckland at $490/week.

Auckland apartment rents rose 6.5 per cent in the past year to an average $490/week, townhouse prices rose 5.8 per cent to an average $595/week and unit rents rose 4.9 per cent to an average $430/week, his data showed.

Wellington prices rose faster: apartment rents were up 7.1 per cent to an average $450/week, townhouses up 8 per cent to $475/week and units up 11.3 per cent to $345/week.

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Christchurch unit rents fell 4.6 per cent in the past year to an average $310/week, townhouse rents remained unchanged at $400/week, but apartment rents there were up 5.3 per cent to $400/week.

Nationally, across all types of rental properties, rents rose 2.3 per cent in the past year, Trade Me said.

"To​ ​date,​ ​we're​ ​experiencing​ ​the​ ​lowest​ ​period​ ​of​ ​rent​ ​increases​ ​in​ ​five​ ​years​. This​ ​is​ ​quite​ ​the​ ​contrast​ ​to​ ​2016​ ​when the​ ​annual​ ​rent​ ​growth​ ​was​ ​nearly​ ​double​ ​at​ ​4.4​ ​per​ ​cent," Jeffries said.

The index comes from properties advertised on Trade Me, where around 11,000 properties are displayed each month.

Last month, Barfoot & Thompson said Auckland residential rental yields or landlord incomes rose for the first time in three years.

"Returns for Auckland rental property owners look to be on the up with gross rental yields for three-bedroom homes in over half the city's suburbs rising in the first half of 2017 compared with the same period last year. This follows a steady decline in rental yields observed since 2014," the agency said.

Kiri Barfoot, a Barfoot & Thompson director, said that was good for landlords and "exactly what you would expect to happen at some point in response to moderate but consistent increases in rent and slowing of house sales prices".

Crockers said this month that Auckland three-bedroom property average weekly rents were $616 compared to the national figure of $460/week.

"Over the past month average Auckland rents for a two-bedroom residential property have remained relatively stable at $479, while two-bedroom rents across New Zealand have increased from $380 to $400. This has resulted in the Auckland two-bedroom premium softening from 27 per cent to 20 per cent," Crockers said.

"Average rents for three-bedroom properties in Auckland softened this month from $630 to $616, while rents across New Zealand increased slightly from $450 to $460, resulting in the three-bedroom premium to decrease from 40 per cent to 34 per cent. These two changes may well reflect the reported migration of many Aucklanders to provincial New Zealand."