Chch rents up as supply slumps 40%: Trade Me   11 Apr 2012

Paul McBeth

Christchurch rental prices have surged more than anywhere else in the country after New Zealand’s second-biggest city recorded a 40 percent slump in listings after last year’s earthquakes.

Rents advertised through online auction site Trade Me showed n average 15 percent rise in Christchurch for the first three months of the year, compared to the same period in 2011. That’s almost four times the 4 percent national average increase. Demand for rentals in Christchurch jumped 42 percent year-on-year.

“Supply has continued to plummet and the current level of rental inventory for the city is the lowest we have seen for years,” Trade Me head of property Brendon Skipper said in a statement to the ASX. “It is a classic case of supply and demand, and is now flowing through to rent.”

Last month the Real Estate Institute warned Christchurch is facing an accommodation crisis with virtually no rental properties available and real estate agents struggling to find homes for displaced residents let alone visitors in town for the reconstruction effort.

The Christchurch situation exaggerates the national environment, with rental listings down 7 percent across the country with a 4 percent rise in the average price, and a 9 percent increase in demand.

“About a quarter of all listings in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch were onsite for six days or less, which is great for landlords, but another indicator of that strong tenant demand,” Skipper said.

Wellington reported the second-biggest fall in listings, down 12 percent from the first quarter of 2011, followed by Waitakere with an 11 percent decline. Dunedin’s supply increased 17 percent, while Palmerston North’s listings grew 13 percent year-on-year.

Central Auckland reported the second-largest increase in average rent with a 7 percent gain, followed by a 5 percent rises in Waitakere and Palmerston North. Lower Hutt bucked the national trend with a 3 percent fall in the average rent compared to first-quarter 2011.

Waitakere reported the second-biggest increase in demand, with an 18 percent lift, followed by a 15 percent rise in Hamilton while Wellington inquiries advanced 13 percent. Lower Hutt demand shrank 2 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

(BusinessDesk)

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