A rental squeeze is gripping Auckland and more house-hunters than ever before are flocking to try get into some of the city's cheaper properties.
Up to 50 people snaked their way through one rental in the Auckland suburb of Remuera this week.
One prospective tenant, who did not wish to be named for fear of missing out on the flat, says some people gave up before even looking at the 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom property – which was advertised at $750 per week.
The house-hunter told the Herald that the property, on Ascot Ave, was smaller than it appeared in photos and that she was amazed at how many people were waiting outside to see it.
Real estate agent Cathy Huang, who is managing the property, said more house hunters than in previous years had turned up to some of her flat viewings with "very reasonable" rents.
This time of year was traditionally very busy for house hunters as people look for a change in the New Year and as students come back to university, Huang said.
Leases – which typically are signed for a year – also come up for renewal in the first few months of the year.
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A large group also viewed a Ponsonby apartment this week, with the letting agent having to take separate groups through so people could fit into the place.
Wellington is also facing a rental squeeze, with reports of university students resorting to letter box drops asking people if the lease on their property is ending and if they can take it on.
Wellington rents now match Auckland, according to Trade Me data last month.
Median rent in the capital rose 5.8 per cent compared to November 2017 to $550 per week.
Median rents in Auckland were the same at $550 (up 3.8 per cent year on year) but had remained static for many months in 2018.