As the nights grow colder, the familiar scent of fireplaces begins to fill the valleys, heralding the approach of winter. During this season, we typically see the rental market tighten, with fewer people relocating, reduced property availability, and stable rental prices. Seasonality is not as strong as it once was but has been evident in Wellington’s rental market

This year, however, the landscape is markedly different. As of 22 April, there are just over 1,000 properties actively

available for rent on the Wellington rental market—a significant increase from the usual 650-700 we see at this time of year. A substantial number of these are inner-city apartments, largely due to the recent completion of numerous new builds. This has lifted the quality of the rental pool in the CBD and as a result, older-style, classic homes are seeing a decrease in demand as tenants opt for more modern, warm, cheaper-to-run homes.

This abundance of options means renters have plenty to choose from, and landlords, particularly those facing financial constraints, have had to offer properties at rates lower than anticipated, just to ensure a consistent level of cash flow. This trend is most noticeable in the inner-city market, where studios and one-bedroom apartments are prevalent. With international student numbers still not reaching pre-COVID levels,

 this segment of the market has had to make significant adjustments to keep pace with demand. Additionally, a growing challenge is the shortage of off-street parking—an essential amenity with the increasing adoption of electric vehicles, as more renters seek properties with driveways or garages for charging. Consequently, the average time to rent a property has now extended from around four weeks to eight.

Looking forward, we don’t anticipate a reduction in the time these properties take to rent, with a considerable number of new builds expected to be completed later this year. With winter drawing near, this could herald a renter’s season, potentially activating the market more than in previous years as tenants look to move into newer, more modern homes.

For landlords, there are some upcoming changes to rental law that will be beneficial. The primary things are the Reintroduce 90-day ‘no cause’ terminations for periodic tenancies. Return notice periods to 42 days for specific landlord termination grounds, and to 21 days for tenants, for periodic tenancies, and reintroduce the ability of a landlord to end a fixed-term tenancy at the end of the term. There has also be

en a recent announcement around the introduction of pet bonds which will make it a bit less risky to take on a tenant with a pet as a landlord.

Our viewing team, constantly on the road, reports that renters in Wellington are particularly keen on several features when searching for a new place to call home. Key sought-after attributes include:

  • Off-street parking
  • suitable for charging electric vehicles
  • Fully fenced sections for the safety of pets and children
  • Comprehensive double glazing
  • Energy-efficient heating solutions, such as heat pumps and radiators
  • Ample storage options, whether in a basement or attic

If you’re considering renting out your property and it features some of these key elements, ensure you are selling these features to your potential tenants. Please get in touch as we have many tenants on our books looking for a new place to call home.

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