Auckland rents are almost static, rising by only $9 per week in the year to September, according to new data from one agency.
Kiri Barfoot, a director of Barfoot & Thompson, said that agency managed around 16,500 Auckland properties and rents had only increased by 1.79 per cent in the last year.
The usual pace of growth was limited by the Government-mandated rent freeze, she said.
New residential tenancy agreements signed during the last quarter nudged average weekly rent upwards only marginally for the quarter ending September 30.
The average weekly rent rose to $589, just $9 ahead of the same time last year and an increase of 1.79 per cent, Barfoot said.
Before the first lockdown and six-month freeze on rents between March 26 and September 25, the average weekly rent typically rose by around to 3.00 per cent year-on-year.
"While this quarter's increase is well under the usual pace we have observed over the past year, it shows that growth has continued among new tenancies, which were not subject to the freeze," Barfoot said.
The number of new tenancies was up on last year.
Across the city, around 150 more homes, or nearly 40 per cent more properties, were let during September, she said.
New tenancies in this current quarter were now priced around 3 per cent higher on average than last year, with the average rent reaching $601 per week.
"This is more in keeping with the usual pace of increase we see across Auckland and is indicative of two things: these new rents are continuing to follow the previous trends, but landlords – on the whole – are not rushing to rachet up prices unrealistically or bake-in future increases too hastily," she said.
Rodney and South Auckland saw average rents up slightly above the norm for the quarter, while central city properties dipped back slightly to an average closer to late 2018 and early 2019 pricing.
Rents for three-bedroom homes rose slightly more as the most popular format, while homes with five or more bedrooms experienced the least price growth.
Figures for October – outside the rent freeze period – suggested a similar trend is continuing into the new quarter.
The average weekly rent at the end of October was up $2 on September's to $591, increasing by 1.73 per cent year-on-year, Barfoot said.
In January, Auckland rents were forecast to hit a new record of $600 a week.
Barfoot said then that Auckland average rents were 2.5 per cent higher in last year's final quarter compared to 2018's final quarter and she expects rents to keep rising.
"The average weekly rent for an Auckland home now sits at $582 and the current annual increase of around 3 per cent will see it reach the $600 mark within the year," she said.