Trade Me’s rental index for November shows the national median weekly rent rose $5 to hit a record $445, and Wellington is leading the way.

Rents in Wellington jumped 9.5 per cent to $433 a week with more increases expected. Larger houses with five bedrooms or more increased the most with a rise of 11.9 per cent. Not far behind, rents for medium houses with 3-4 bedrooms were up 11.1 per cent.

Trade Me’s head of property Nigel Jeffries said the jump is typical for this time of year when landlords often review the value of their rental property. “Wellington’s rent prices are very cyclical – they build in October each year, and peak in January before a mid-year plateau,” Jeffries said.

Property managers agree a shortage of rental properties will be playing a part in the soaring rents across Wellington. Also, a high percentage of leases end in January to March in Wellington, compounding the pressure on rental properties around the summer season.

The combination of a growing inner city population in Wellington and a low level of apartment development is also thought to be contributing to the rental price rises. Seven hundred students alone are expected to move into the CBD when Whitireia and Weltec’s creative campus in Cuba St open in 2018. One-bedroom units and studios in particular were becoming increasingly popular.