Rents throughout the Bay of Plenty are starting to fall.

The median rent in Tauranga fell from $475 a week in May to $460 last month, according to the latest Trade Me figures. The decrease comes after at least four years of rent increases in the city.

In the Western Bay of Plenty, prices fell even further, back to June 2016's median price of $380 a week.

Dan Lusby of Tauranga Rentals said demand for rental properties was down.

Dan Lusby, owner of Tauranga Rentals. Photo/File
Dan Lusby, owner of Tauranga Rentals. Photo/File

"We've certainly noticed things have gone a bit flat.

"We're not dropping rents, but we're certainly not putting them up either."

A few years ago, winter would be a quiet time for tenants looking for new rental properties, Mr Lusby said, and things could be returning to normal.

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"The last couple of years we've been busy every month.

"There's still a few looking . . . the number of people that are genuinely looking has certainly slowed down."

Simon Anderson of Eves and Bayleys said there was still good demand for many rental properties.

"What we're seeing is a really, really strong demand for good homes in a good location.


"The ones that are available tend not to be in such good locations."

The number of rental properties available remained low, Mr Anderson said, and there was still demand for quality homes.

Property investor Lindsay Richards said he believed rental prices would continue to stagnate.

"It wouldn't surprise me if they're at the top."

He advised potential property investors to do the maths on investment properties before they bought.

"Any time's a good time to buy if the numbers are right."

He said he was pleased he bought investment property several years ago when purchase prices were low.

Property was a long-term investment, Mr Richards said.

"Typically when you buy, you're not making a cent.

"I decided when I started in this business I was only going to buy if I could get close to my outgoings in rent."

Median rental prices for apartments and townhouses rose in Tauranga from May to June, and rents for units stayed the same.

Rents for small houses fell from $395 in May to $380, and the median rent for medium-sized houses fell by $5 a week to $495.

In the Western Bay of Plenty, rents fell more sharply than Tauranga, to $380 per week. The median rent in May was $450.

The average rent in New Zealand was $450 at the beginning of the year, and remained the same in June.

The national median rent was still up 4.3 per cent from June last year, Trade Me's Nigel Jeffries said.

"Landlords are still seeing some gain on their investments - they're earning over $1000 more on the typical property than they were a year ago."

Changes in median rents varied hugely across the country, Mr Jeffries said.

"While some regions continue to grow solidly, the double-digit jumps we've been seeing have reduced significantly.

"In the Bay of Plenty the median weekly rent leapt from around $350 in June 2015, blasted up to $400 a week in June 2016 and peaked at $450 in April this year.

"But since then, it has plateaued and now sits at $430 a week, up just 2.4 per cent on a year ago.

"Tenants in the Bay will be pleased to hear the massive growth of recent years appears to be slowing for now."