Auckland housing rents have risen 8.5 per cent in the last year, but rents have climbed the most in the Bay of Plenty.
Trade Me's rental index for September shows that the national cost of renting has remained steady, with advertised median rents of $420 a week, up 5 per cent or $20 a week.
Excluding Auckland, the median asking rents remained stable for the fifth month in a row at $360 a week, ticking up 2.9 per cent for the year.
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Trade Me's head of property, Nigel Jeffries said: "When we compare the cost of renting to the unyielding climb in house prices, the housing game has stayed firmly in favour of renters".
Auckland rents climbed 8.5 per cent on a year ago, rising to $499 a week.
Aucklanders are spending more than $2000 a year extra on rent than they did 12 months ago, but that pales in comparison with the $128,000 increase in the expected selling price of an Auckland property.
Conversely, Christchurch renters were saving $1560 a year following a 6.5 per cent fall in rents over the last year, to $430 per week.
Jeffries said this was a welcome relief after rents skyrocketed due to a quake-driven accommodation crisis.
"Over the past five years, rents in the garden city have risen by almost 39 per cent with the largest component of that occurring between 2011 and 2014 during the rebuild," Jeffries said.
"That growth topped out in March this year at $495 per week, but has cooled down a lot over the past six months."
Wellington's rental market was stable, with the median rent at $380 a week, up 1.3 per cent or $5 on a year ago.
The biggest rental spike occurred in the Bay of Plenty, where rents rose 13.3 per cent in the last year to $363 a week.
Jeffries said the Bay of Plenty and Waikato rental markets were turning upwards because of the "Auckland effect," with Aucklanders looking to other regions to escape the tougher market.
Waikato median rents rose by the same amount as Auckland, up 8.5 per cent to $350 a week.
Gisborne had the biggest fall in rents, down 17.6 per cent to $280 a week.
That was a fall of $60, but Jeffries said the number of rental properties advertised on Trade Me in Gisborne was relatively small.
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