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Masterton rent lagging

KAREN COLTMAN
karen.coltman@age.co.nz

Average rents have reached an all-time high in Carterton and South Wairarapa, at $440 and $433 a week respectively for October.

Statistics NZ’s October rental price data for the Wellington region showed a 2.4 per cent increase in weekly rents to $515 compared with October 2019 [$503].

But in Carterton, rents have jumped nearly 14 per cent over the same time, and in South Wairarapa, they have increased by 20.6 per cent.

In Masterton, rents have dropped 1.9 per cent – the average weekly rent is $316, down from an all-time high of $371 in February.

Asking rents for one-bedroom flats are now reaching the $300 a week mark all over the Wairarapa region and in South Wairarapa asking rents are often more than $500 a week for a three-plus bedroom house.

Trade Me Property has a one-bedroom rental listed in Greytown at $350 a week, and there is a two-bedroom 1950s house available for rent in Martinborough for $525 a week.

Demand for rentals is high in South Wairarapa, and there is not much available to rent, which partly explains the area having higher asking rents.

TradeMe Property’s Aaron Clancy said the demand in the south was higher than other parts of Wairarapa.

“The number of enquiries on rental properties in South Wairarapa was up 80 per cent on last year, and Masterton enquiries dropped 19 per cent on last year,” he said.

Property manager Keith Archer of Archer McHattie Ltd [LJ Hooker] said there were rental properties available, but the hardest part of the job was securing good tenants.

“With new legislation increasing landlord responsibilities, property owners are being cautious with who they put into their houses,” Archer said.

“Instant fines can be issued to landlords for non-compliance, and more landlords are aware of this and want property managers that know the new legislation.

“I have properties empty while I wait for suitable tenants, but for responsible and reliable tenants there are houses available.”

He said while Masterton rents had not yet shown significant increases, as the value of real estate climbed, the rents were likely to increase too.

But incomes for people working in Wairarapa have not risen to keep up with the rent increases.

Average weekly rental prices in Wairarapa equate to up to 40 per cent of average weekly earnings in the region.

“Naturally when a purchase price goes up, and a bigger mortgage is taken out, rents go up too.”

Real estate agents the Times-Age spoke with said that houses in Masterton were being bought by a mix of people including investors.



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