Barfoot figures show residential rent rises slowing

Real estate agency & property manager Barfoot & Thompson said yesterday its latest data showed the trend of slower-paced residential rental rises in Auckland continued through the third quarter.

Barfoot’s manages over 16,500 properties in Auckland. Director Kiri Barfoot said the average weekly rent for a 3-bedroom home cost just 3.2% more during the September quarter than it did a year earlier.

“This represents a real cost increase of around $17/week compared to last year. The increase is $2 lower than last quarter and is now the lowest average weekly rent rise that we have observed in well over 2 years.”

The average weekly rent rise for all properties (all bedroom sizes & eligible suburbs) was also lower than the historical norm, up 3.5% year-on-year to $563. This compared to earlier quarterly increases of as much as 4.8%.

Ms Barfoot said central Auckland had the biggest rise due primarily to a growing number of large luxury apartments pulling in higher weekly rents, while demand in West Auckland saw it come in second place with a year-on-year increase just over 5% for the quarter.

The smallest average rises were for homes in Pakuranga & Howick, up 2.2%, and for homes with 5 or more bedrooms, up 2.1%.

Yields rising

Meanwhile, Ms Barfoot said gross rental yields across the city indicated many landlords would be starting to enjoy a rebound in rental returns, despite the slower pace of rent rises: “More than two-thirds of the Auckland suburbs we reviewed this quarter showed an increase in gross yield over the same period last year, with all but a handful sitting above 3% return.

“This follows a period of relatively flat gross yields during 2016 & 2017, and declining yields prior to that, so landlords will be relieved to be making up some lost ground.”

She says this, coupled with low interest rates & a desire to keep properties occupied with good tenants, could be contributing to landlords’ reluctance to raise rents further.

Average weekly rent received in Auckland, Quarter 3 (July-September) 2018 vs same period 2017:

Number of bedrooms % change Q217 v Q218
1 2 3 4 5+ Total
Central Auckland $408 $570 $1076 $496 5.46%
Central suburbs $379 $500 $635 $813 $1,049 $607 3.85%
Eastern suburbs $379 $513 $665 $907 $1,062 $645 2.80%
Franklin/Manukau rural $308 $366 $447 $561 $654 $470 4.70%
North Shore $397 $478 $595 $738 $923 $616 3.99%
Pakuranga/Howick $346 $455 $557 $676 $785 $589 2.16%
Rodney $345 $438 $534 $665 $817 $557 3.40%
South Auckland $310 $408 $499 $597 $724 $497 3.56%
West Auckland $331 $425 $513 $621 $752 $516 5.05%
Auckland $370 $469 $559 $697 $859 $563 3.51%
% change Q217 v Q218 3.08% 4.01% 3.17% 2.64% 2.11% 3.51%

Table source: Barfoot & Thompson averages for managed tenancies as at end of each month in quarter. Categories with fewer than 4 tenancies aren’t included.

Based on statistics from about 16,000 Auckland rental properties managed by Barfoot & Thompson. This includes over 6700 3-bedroom properties, which have been chosen as the standard example to provide the best insight into the ‘typical’ weekly rental price in Auckland.

Gross yields: Average annualised rental income divided by median sale price within the same area. Only suburbs with sufficient sales data for the period were reviewed.

Attribution: Agency release.

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