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National median rent increased by $28 a week in January but rents remained flat in Auckland


By Greg Ninness

A big jump in residential rents in January means the national median rent started 2024 on a record high.

According to the latest bond data from Tenancy Services, (part of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment), the national median residential rent was $608 a week in January this year. That's up $28 (+4.8%) a week compared to December last year, and up $33 (+5.7%) a week compared to January last year.

The big jump came after a period of relative stability, with the national median rent hovering around $580 a week for the second half of last year.

Because these figures are sourced from bond data they will mainly relate to newly tenanted properties, making them the most up to date rent figures available.They are also forward looking because they set the benchmarks for landlords when they review the rents on existing tenancies, so they give a strong indication of where rents are heading.

The national figures reflected the movement in rents in most regions of the country in January, with the notable exception of Auckland which is this country's largest rental market by far.

Auckland's median rent was $650 a week in January, unchanged since September last year. However that followed an increase from $600 to $640 a week in the first half of last year.

As usual the biggest increase in rental activity in January was in Otago, which always has a huge spike in both the number of properties being rented and the median rent, as university students flock back to Dunedin for the start of the academic year.

This year saw a particularly big jump in Otago's median rent, which leaped from $520 a week in December last year to $675 in January this year.

However if the Otago market follows normal trends, that figure should drop back to normal levels as students get their accommodation arrangements finalised for the year.

The figures also suggest that student accommodation in Otago may not be as popular as it once was.

The number of bonds received from Otago peaked at 3081 in January 2017 and have declined in every January since to 2298 in January this year, a drop of 25% over the last seven years.

This story was originally published on and has been republished here with permission.