"Vacancy rates are just 1 per cent " - Kiri Barfoot

Auckland rental supply is barely keeping pace with demand because although more apartments are available, vacancy rates have sunk to 1 per cent, according to a big city property manager.

Kiri Barfoot, a director of Barfoot & Thompson with 14,000 properties on its books, said the number of apartments available to rent rose by more than a third lately.

"We're seeing strong growth in new rentals. Apartments in particular are up by 36 per cent. This is a recent upward trend coinciding with new developments in the central city. In this last quarter alone, we had 387 new apartments, compared with 263 and 285 in the same quarters for 2014 and 2015, respectively," Barfoot said.

"But rental supply is barely keeping pace with demand. Vacancy rates are just 1 per cent despite 26 per cent growth for all property types. We are turning properties around in an average of less than 4 days.


"A greater number of residential property investors are turning to professional managers to look after their investment," she said.

Rents only rose 2.4 per cent between the third quarter of last year and this year's third quarter, from an average $507/week to $519/week.

The average weekly rent for a three-bedroom home in Auckland during the July to September quarter was $520/week, rising 1 per cent on last quarter and 4.6 per cent on the same quarter in 2015 ($497/week), the data showed.

Crockers' November market research report showed Auckland rents for a 2-bedroom property fell slightly from $468/week to $466/week.

Rents for 3-bedroom Auckland properties rose slightly in November from $588/week to $593/week, Crockers said.