This rental bond data provides information about the activity level in the housing rental market since January 1993. By comparison, the market rent online tool provides rental information for the previous six months.

Use the Market Rent API

The API is a service that, with a bit of technical knowledge, can be used in a self-service manner to generate market rent data for a range of user-specified criteria including time period, area definition type, and geographic location.

Market rent API(external link)

About the data

The files below are for private bonds, starting from January 1993. 'Private' means private sector landlords.

This data comes from our tenancy bond database, which records all new rental bonds that are lodged with us each month.

Make sure you always use the latest file available. This is because delays between a bond being lodged and the details being recorded in the database can cause figures for the latest month to change the next month. Landlords have 23 working days to lodge a bond with Tenancy Services, the bond lodgements are then processed which may take 10-15 working days.

Recent changes to the reporting of the data

In November 2020 there were some changes to the way we report on the rental bond data to give a more accurate representation of the market.

  1. Bonds are now listed based on the day the tenancy started. Files used before November 2020 were listed based on the day the bond was lodged. This means you may see a difference in the number of bonds reported on for a particular month in a region in comparison to a report used before November 2020.
    Note that you should always use the latest files available. This is because delays between a bond being lodged and the details being recorded in the database can cause figures for the latest month to change in the next month.
  2. The data now uses the SA2-2019 area definitions from Statistics New Zealand. These units have been applied because the definitions of geographical areas have evolved to reflect the changing nature of New Zealand’s population distribution. This means if you are comparing a file downloaded before November 2020 with a new file, you may see the bonds distributed differently amongst the new/changed regions.
  3. Extra privacy protection measures have been applied to the data. The files from November 2020 have had fixed random rounding applied to base 3 and suppression of results when there are fewer than five bonds for any given selection.

Rental bond data, January 1993 - February 2021 

Last updated 15 March 2021.

The data for March 2021 is currently unavailable.

Geographical table

The historical rental bond data uses the SA2-2019 area definitions from Stats NZ:

Analytical note: medians and quartiles for rent data

Median and quartile data for rents are often requested in order to get an understanding of the distribution of rents in a region. This is especially important for social housing, as social housing is not typically targeted at average households.

However, rents tend to cluster at round numbers – a weekly rent of $300 is much more common than a rent of $297.50. This has an unfortunate effect on median and quartile measures (which are based on actual values from the data), as they tend to plateau for months at a time, before jumping up by $10 or $20. This can make analysing time series of medians and quartiles difficult.

For this reason, we have developed alternative measures for use with rent data:

  • Geometric mean (replacing median): The geometric mean is calculated by multiplying n values together and taking the nth root of the result. When a variable is log-normally distributed (a common distribution for variables than must be greater than 0) the geometric mean will closely approximate the median.
  • Synthetic Quartiles (replacing quartiles): The synthetic quartiles are designed to find the 25th percentile (for the lower quartile) and 75th percentile (for the upper quartile) of a set of data, assuming the data is lognormally distributed. The mean and variance of the data are not assumed, but instead are calculated. This approach is consistent with using the geometric mean to approximate the median.

Using data under Creative Commons

We're making this raw data available under a Creative Commons licence. This means you can use the data free of charge to perform your own analysis, as long as you credit us ('The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment') as the source of the data.

If you have any questions, comments or requests, please contact us.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License.(external link)

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