Auckland rents showed a "continued upward trend", rising fastest for one-bedroom places and particularly in the south and west, a property management business says.
Barfoot & Thompson, which manages more than 16,000 places in the city, said one-bedroom rents rose 3.13 per cent annually.
"The end-of-year figures show the continued upward trend in rents across the city," the agency said today of all the data.
South Auckland rents rose the fastest in the December year, up 4.72 per cent annually to an average $664/week for a four-bedroom place, the agency's data showed.
West Auckland rents rose 4.19 per cent to reach an average of $677/week for four-bedroom places.
Rents for four-bedroom homes rose 2.68 per cent annually to reach an average $746/week. Three-bedroom homes hit an average $615/week, up 3.3 per cent annually.
Kiri Barfoot, a director of the business, cited longer-term rent price movements.
She said 2021's rental price movements were among the lowest in a decade.
"The year-on-year price changes we track across our portfolio puts 2021 in the third lowest position for the rate of rent increases, compared to the movements we've seen over the past 10 years," she said.
"Only 2020's 1.81 per cent rise – unique in having a six-month freeze on rents during New Zealand's first lockdown, and 2019's 2.58 per cent rise, were lower."
The height of movement was between December 2014 and 2015 when, off the back of constrained supply and significant growth in house prices, the average Auckland rent rose 6.73 per cent, or more than $31 per week, on the year before, she said.
"In contrast, the average Auckland home currently costs around $17 more per week than it did a year ago."
Another large Auckland rental agency, Crockers, released data that showed Remuera rents for one-bedroom places rose 14 per cent between 2020 and 2021.
Rents for three-bedroom places in Devonport rose 6 per cent from $734/week to $809/week, Orewa rents rose 7 per cent, Brown Bay, Torbay and Albany was up 4 per cent, Ponsonby rents rose 7 per cent, Mt Roskill rose 4 per cent and Mt Albert/Point Chevalier rents were up 3 per cent, the Crockers data showed.
Renters United wants rent controls: "Rent prices are out of control. We're calling on the Government to implement rent controls now. Rent controls are an urgent measure to reduce the stress that too many New Zealanders face due to exorbitant and unjustified rent increases.
"For the last 10 years, rent prices have been increasing faster than incomes. That means rent makes up a larger portion of renters incomes, making escaping the broken rental market harder than ever," the group says.
Rents should be limited to no more than inflation and unreasonable rent hikes between tenancies should be barred by requiring landlords to set a reasonable range.
A number of studies suggest that rent controls work is growing, the group says.
"Let's not forget, also, that rents were frozen across the board as an emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It proved that the state can use its power to protect the vulnerable in times of crisis. We're asking for the housing crisis to be taken with the same seriousness as the pandemic," Renters United says.