Business

Stats NZ index shows housing rents rose 3.3% in year

Housing rents across New Zealand rose 0.2 percent in February, taking the annual rental increase to 3.3 percent, according to a new Stats NZ index.

The agency will be including data from the new index in the quarterly Consumers Price Index from the June quarter of this year.

The government statistician calls the measure of all rents in the country the “stock” measure and says this most closely aligns with the current CPI method and national accounts measures that use the CPI.

“Stock measures are less sensitive to changes in the market due to accounting for established tenancies,” it says.

A second measure capturing rents on properties with new bonds will be “useful for showing turning points in the market” and is comparable with other measures such as the Trade Me rents measure.

That "flow" measure showed that rents on new tenancies rose 1.7 percent in February and were 4.5 percent higher than a year earlier.

Trade Me’s latest release on Feb. 14 showed the median rent nationally rose 5.3 percent in January to a record $495 per week.

Stats NZ says it is using administrative data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to allow it to produce a monthly, rather than a quarterly index.

“This work would not have been possible without the support of MBIE, which is supplying the source data from their tenancy bonds database.”

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