Rotorua's "horrifying" rental market is taking its toll on some local agents who are "knee deep in good tenants" but can't find suitable homes to put them in.

The well-documented rental shortage continues to force rent prices up, exacerbated, according to one agent, by out of town renters looking to move to Rotorua, willing to pay more for high-quality homes.

The latest Trade Me Property Rental Index for May shows the average weekly price of renting in Rotorua jumped to $355 - an increase of $15 in just one month.

The average weekly rent price has risen $45 since May last year and $35 since March 2017.


As of yesterday there were 82 properties available on Trade Me.

They ranged from a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit in Ngongotaha for $150 a week, to a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Owhata for $640 a week.

There were 33 three-bedroom homes listed, with the cheapest being a Pohutukawa Drive house for $250 per week.

There were 26 two-bedroom homes, 16 one-bedroom homes and seven four-bedroom homes.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said "halo areas" around Auckland were hot while the major centre had started to cool.

"The Bay of Plenty has seen a 12.5 per cent increase in the last 12 months while Rotorua specifically saw a slightly higher increase of 14.5 per cent.

"Rotorua's rent prices have been climbing fairly steeply, in part because it's playing catch up, but also because demand outweighs the current supply in the city.

"We've also seen demand move slightly from Tauranga, allowing Rotorua to steal the heat."

Rotorua Rentals owner Richard Evans said the situation was heartbreaking.

"You do get the tenants who don't have the best credit rating who are finding it extremely hard to find a rental, but you also have really good tenants who are also missing out, purely because there's no houses.

"I had someone ring up asking for a family home and I didn't even have one on my books, I only had a two-bedroom unit.

"Until we fix the shortage we will continue to see rent prices rise. In the last 12 months we've seen it go up and up and it's not stopping.

"It's just horrifying."

Mr Evans said while there were landlords trying to get too much for their rental properties, "the vast majority are realistic and socially conscious".

"The ones I work for don't want to crucify young families because the market says the rent they are charging is too low. Those trying to get too much for their properties will implode."

Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said out of town renters looking for high quality homes were contributing to the rent increase.

"A year ago it was very hard to rent a $500 a week property but now those are in high demand from out of towners wanting to move to Rotorua for work who are willing to pay a bit more.

"It's not great for those who can't afford the higher rent prices or can't find a home but a positive looking business market, which is attracting these out of towners, is good news for Rotorua."

Mr Anderson said they had a big portfolio of rental properties but the most popular - three-bedroom family homes - was in short supply.

Ray White Rotorua co-owner and principal Anita Martelli said her team was struggling to get rental properties for their clients.

"We have lots of good tenants so it's terrible for them that they miss out purely because of the sheer number of people applying for each property.

"Yes there may be 33 three-bedroom homes on Trade Me at the moment but that's really only a drop in what is actually needed."