For many the weekly rent payment makes up the largest portion of bills. But where you choose to rent plays a large part in just how much you have to fork out. Some people choose to commute further in order to save on rent. Reporter Zizi Sparks looks at the latest market rent data to identify the cheapest and most expensive areas to rent in this year.
• Western Bay of Plenty rents continue to soar, except for one suburb
• Rental crisis in Tauranga causing distress and desperation for those who need a home
• Bay of Plenty landlords pull out of property market over new tenant rights
• Tauranga rentals increase $255 over 20 years
The most expensive Tauranga and Western Bay areas to rent in this year are Pyes Pa, Hairini and Welcome Bay, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
And the cheapest? Waihī Beach/Ōmokoroa.
The ministry's Tenancy Services has an online tool to find out what the weekly market rent is for properties in an area, based on bond data it collects.
For the six-month period between April 1 and September 30 this year, the median weekly market rent in the Pyes Pa, Hairini and Welcome Bay area was $510.
In Waihī Beach/Ōmokoroa, it was almost $100 cheaper a week at $420.
Pāpāmoa Beach was second-most expensive at $530 a week.
Third was Mount Maunganui at $500 and fourth was Bethlehem/Otūmoetai at $490.
Median rents in the area were the cheapest in Waihī Beach/Ōmokoroa at $420, $440 in Tauranga Central/Greerton and $450 in Kaimai/Te Puke.
Tauranga's property market expected to pick up in spring
Tauranga Rentals owner Dan Lusby said the availability of rental properties was a real issue in Tauranga.
"We've gone from a month ago having 250 to 300 properties available on TradeMe to 200 now.
"Usually September and October are busy months but we have not had properties to rent."
Lusby said new, well-located properties were snapped up quickly and Mount Maunganui was a popular location for rentals.
"Obviously Tauranga is still a growth area ... While new subdivisions are coming up, it's still going to come after it's needed.
"We need houses now."
He said it was a good time to buy if renters could.
"Interest rates are cheap and houses are not going to get cheaper."
Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Group, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said he was surprised there was not more of a difference in median rents but believed the upper end of rental properties would get up there.
"It's quite an expensive living cost for anyone looking to move off the property ladder or raise a family. It makes up it quite a big part of the weekly bills but obviously is determined by supply and demand and location.
"If it's a nice home that's been well-cared for and is close to schools it's going to attract high rents."
Anderson said some Tauranga workers chose to live in Rotorua or the Western Bay and commute to save on rental costs.
"Someone looking after their budget, as long as they manage fuel costs, can do that.
"There's also a shortage in Tauranga. It's not as desperate as Rotorua but there's still a shortage."
Anderson said the company had a waiting list of prospective renters and properties did not last long on the market.
"There is such variety in properties that any property that comes up, we've got a list of people wanting to rent."
He said a shortage of rentals was having a roll-on effect illustrated by motels being used by the Government for short-term emergency accommodation.
James Wilson, director of valuation innovation at Valocity, said the Bay of Plenty rental market was strong and rental rates were strengthening across the region.
"The Rotorua rental market is currently proving particularly strong, one of the drivers behind the popularity of the area among investors at present.
"With the rates of house value growth currently being experienced in the area, investors are looking to maximise their returns by completing renovation and modernisation work."
The Tenancy Services online tool provides specific weekly market rent prices from bond data between June and September.
Any category that had fewer than five bonds lodged was excluded, to prevent individual properties from being identified.
Market rent is the amount a landlord might reasonably expect to receive, and a tenant might reasonably expect to pay, for a tenancy.
Tauranga Central/Greerton, median weekly rents
Bonds lodged: 453
Two-bedroom flat: $380
One-bedroom flat: $297
Pāpāmoa Beach, median weekly rents
Bonds lodged: 365
Two-bedroom flat: $450
One-bedroom flat: $360
Mount Maunganui, median weekly rents
Bonds lodged: 438
Two-bedroom flat: $420
One-bedroom flat: $350
Pyes Pā/Hairini/Welcome Bay, median weekly rents
Bonds lodged: 253
Two-bedroom flat: $380
One-bedroom flat: $337
Bethlehem/Otūmoetai, median weekly rents
Bonds lodged: 354
Two-bedroom flat: $390
One-bedroom flat: $335
Waihī Beach/Ōmokoroa, median weekly rents
Bonds lodged: 206
Two-bedroom flat: $330
One-bedroom flat: $240
Kaimai/Te Puke, median weekly rents
Two-bedroom flat: Not available
One-bedroom flat: $265