Auckland rents are forecast to hit a new record of $600 a week.
Kiri Barfoot, a director of property management and agency Barfoot & Thompson, said 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.
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Barfoot said the pace of Auckland rent increases slowed last year with the lowest rise recorded in the last three months of the year.
"The average weekly price tag for a rental property in Auckland during the October to December quarter was just 2.5 per cent higher than it was during the same time last year.
"This means a renter will have paid around $15 more per week in December 2019, than in December 2018."
Last year, the rate of rent increases fell under 3 per cent for the first time in many years, with figures representing an annual rent rise of around $16/week to $18/week for the average property. The 2018 increase was closer to $20/ week year-on-year, and it was well above $20/week throughout 2017, she said.
Now, she expects a big change in 2020.
Auckland had a considerable range of average rents within particular property sizes and locations across the city, she said.
"Larger properties in the central and eastern suburbs set renters back over $1000/week on average this quarter, while most one-bedroom properties across the city came in under $400, at an average of $384," she said.
One and two-bedroom homes continued to return higher rent increases compared to the rest of the market. Larger properties had lower increases, something that was likely to persist in the coming year, she said.
South Auckland, Franklin and rural Manukau properties returned the highest rates of increase compared to other areas of the city.
Rodney was the only area to see a higher rate of increase during the last quarter of 2020, moving from 2.2 per cent to 2.8 per cent. Rent growth was lowest in the central and eastern suburbs.
Corporates were last year hunting for America's Cup 2021 accommodation.
Samantha Arnold, Barfoot & Thompson property management general manager, said last May that nearly 60 premium properties were needed, a dedicated portal was established for people to register online and visitors from Britain, Europe, the United States and Asia needed homes as close to the sailing as possible.