New Zealand’s national median rent has hit a record­ $475 per week in April, driven by strong demand in the regions, according to data from Trade Me.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said rents typically cooled in autumn and winter, but April bucked the seasonal trend.

Nationally, the median rent was $475 a week, 5.6 per cent higher on a year ago

There were also particularly big surges in demand in Taranaki and Southland where median rents rose 2 per cent to $380 a week, and 10 per cent to $270 a week respectively.

The only region that didn’t rise on a year earlier was Manawatu/Whanganui.

In the Bay of Plenty rent was up a more moderate 4.4 per cent hit $470 a week, just $10 less than Wellington.

The median weekly rent in Auckland climbed 3.8 per cent to return to an all-­time weekly high of $550.

But there was good news for tenants in that while rents remained high, there were more properties to choose from. Listings were up 19 per cent on last April and 35 per cent in Auckland City.

ons with the greatest growth included Gisborne, where rents rose 20 per cent, the West Coast (up nearly 15 per cent) and Hawkes Bay (up 14.3 per cent to $400 a week).

“With supply picking up and demand dipping, we don’t expect to see any major changes in the Auckland rental price for the next few months,” Jeffries said.

In the capital, rents were 6.7 per cent higher than last April, although it had eased $20 from January’s “frenetic” peak of $480.

In Upper Hutt, the median weekly rent jumped up 13.7 per cent on last year to $435, while rents in Lower Hutt were up 7.1 per cent to $450, and Wellington City climbed 7.1 per cent to $530 per week.

The capital’s most popular property in April was a modern studio in Petone which had 85 enquiries in the first two days on Trade Me.

Medium (three to four-bedroom) and small (one to ­two-bedroom) houses in Wellington showed the largest annual increase in April, climbing 10 per cent to $550 and 9.3 per cent to $410 respectively.

Supply and demand was evenly matched Christchurch with rent unchanged for a fifth consecutive month at $400 per week.

Rents were lingering around the $400 mark, ­”the same as it was way back in April 2013,” Jeffries said.

Apartments for rent in Auckland grew just 0.8 per cent on the previous year but hit a record high of $499.  The cost of renting an apartment in Wellington crept closer to Auckland, up 4.4 per cent to $470 per week.