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Wellington Urban Housing Shortage

Unlike Auckland, Wellington really does have a property shortage. Inventory is now at an all-time low, not only in houses for sale, but also houses for rent. This data covers all listings on Trademe for Wellington City, Porirua, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt.

Less like Auckland, prices are not the main issue, it is simply a shortage of listings or as the real estate industry likes to term it - inventory.

Rental listings are well below 1000, compared with a more typical 1400 in the last 6 years, in fact last year was low with 1300 listings at this time.


Sales listings in the same urban areas are also breaking new ground with under 1000 listings. But this is a serious shortage compared to a normal level of 2300, even last year when there was already a shortage, there was 2000 at this time.

Rental Vacancies moving Cities

Rental listings or "rental inventory" nationally have not changed since March 2014. But, the changes between cities are enormous.

Listings have increased in Auckland and Christchurch but are severely down in Wellington and Waikato/BoP. Does this mean population movement from Christchurch due to lack of earthquake recovery work and Auckland due to cost of living is now so severe that inter-regional migration is at a peak? There are no stats on regional migration until the census comes out again.

The following chart shows the damage, Wellington has been losing listings and is now at an all-time low for this time of year. Waikato/BoP continue to lose listings but less so.

On the other hand, listings in Christchurch and Auckland continue to rise almost 20% pa. Where is the housing shortage? It may be a shortage of lower priced rentals, but there is no shortage overall.

Wellington not only has a rental inventory problem, but also a sales inventory problem of enormous impact. Since December, there was only 50% of inventory at the same time a year before:

Jonette 2011