Rent increases have not kept pace with house prices in most parts of the country over over the past year, reducing property investors’ yield.
While median house prices nationwide were up almost 10% on 2011, rents increased by about half that over 2012, according to Real Estate Institute statistics.
But Christchurch landlords increased their rents by more than twice the national median.
Nationwide, the median rent for a three-bedroom home edged up by $20 a week. In quake-hit Christchurch, tenants are now paying $50 more than this time last year.
In Wellington, 11 districts saw rents drop in a stable residential sales market and in Auckland rents fell in inner-city suburbs - where prices are rising fastest - but rose in suburbs a little further out.
Western and southern Auckland suburbs saw rises of about $10 on average rents of about $380 a week and eastern suburbs experienced rent rises of up to $30.
The REINZ figures show that 5769 dwellings were let in December, a 23% drop from the 7468 new lettings in December 2011.