Rents are rising due to a squeeze at both ends of the demand and supply equation, says the April issue of NZ Property Investor magazine.
The Christchurch earthquake has added to the pressure as "emigres" flee to cities such as Auckland, a market already stretched. There are fewer rental properties available, and, at the same time, more people wanting to rent them.
With tax changes, some investors have pulled out of the market, and the increasing costs of owning a property have reduced the pool of rental properties.
These factors are forcing up rents, as landlords realise they can charge more and tenants face the reality that they will have to pay more.
Also in the April issue, there are big changes happening in the real estate market - and they're all good for the buyer.
Commissions are coming down as competition for listings gets more intense in a subdued market.
More buyers are going online to search for properties, sellers are looking at Homesell to market their own homes, and new players such as mortgage magnate Mike Pero are entering the market.
An analysis of the housing market in NZ Property Investor's April issue shows experts believe it got a shot in the arm from Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard's rate cut, but nobody is expecting a return to boom times any time soon.
"I'm not sure it's quite a game changer," says Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan. "We've still got softness in the overall wider economy." She suggests people are still focused on repaying debt rather than taking on more, she says.
However she believes Auckland is a lead indicator and the market there is starting to see a real improvement in volumes and a steadying in price.