Copy to clipboard


Property investors worry when they can't find a tenant: empty properties don’t earn rent.

The hottest rental market in the country is Wairoa District (north Hawke’s Bay), according to new data.

The average rental property only spent 10.5 days listed on Trade Me. That’s based on data from April – September 2023.

This gives an indication of how long it takes to find a tenant.

If properties go up on Trade Me, then get taken down quickly, the rental market is probably hot. If properties linger, the rental market is probably cold.

It’s unsurprising the Hawke’s Bay rental market is hot; Cyclone Gabrielle upended households across the region.

Homeowners and tenants have had to move out of their homes and, in the meantime, need somewhere to live, so rental demand has risen. But the cyclone has also decreased supply. Some properties are so damaged they can't be rented any longer.

That’s why it takes less than 2 weeks for the average landlord to find a tenant. 

At the other end of the spectrum, properties in Thames-Coromandel took the longest to rent. The median Trade Me rental listing was live for 32 days.

That’s 21.5 days longer than in Wairoa. So, the average Thames-Coromandel investor might get up to 3 weeks less rent than the average Wairoa investor.

That difference matters. Interest rates are high and many investors are struggling with high mortgage repayments.

The second hottest rental market is the Queenstown-Lakes District. Rental listings there also don't last 2 weeks on Trade Me. The median property comes down after only 13.5 days.

Property managers there tell me the ski season tempted property owners to convert their rentals into Airbnbs. This decreased supply of long-term rental properties, just as the town got busier.

But the third hottest rental markets are a surprise. At third equal are Blenheim, Kawerau and Otorohanga. The average rental property in these areas lasts just 14 days online.

Otorohanga and Kawerau are a shock; only about 10,000 people call each district home.

But small towns are, well, small. If it just so happens there are a few more tenants in the market (or a few less landlords), demand can quickly outstrip supply.

But it can go the other way, too. Small town rental markets are more volatile. They change quickly. That’s why smaller parts of New Zealand also feature in the list of colder rental markets.

Thames-Coromandel is followed by Westland, Hurunui and Southland. Together these areas make up the 4 coldest rental markets in the country.

Opes Partners
Laine 3 001

Laine Moger

Journalist and Property Educator with six years of experience, holds a Bachelor of Communication (Honours) from Massey University.

Laine Moger, a seasoned Journalist and Property Educator with six years of experience, holds a Bachelor of Communications (Honours) from Massey University and a Diploma of Journalism from the London School of Journalism. She has been an integral part of the Opes team for two years, crafting content for our website, newsletter, and external columns, as well as contributing to Informed Investor and NZ Property Investor.

View Profile

Related articles