A two-bedroom unit in the Riversdale Village Camp listed for $235,000. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Whether it be a holiday house or a permanent home, Riversdale Beach seems to be in vogue as the coastal town of choice in Wairarapa this summer.
The coastal lifestyle appeal has seen Riversdale “buzzing” again, and Bayleys real estate agent and Riversdale local Adrian Denniston is witnessing it first-hand.
Mr Denniston said the Riversdale property market had been “unusually busy” over the past three months with sales racking up.
The lead-up to Christmas had Mr Denniston selling homes along the beach front, in the Riversdale Holiday park and in town – “it’s not just the top end, but lower range too”.
The median holiday house price in Riversdale has increased about $130,000 in two years ending in November last year, according to recent REINZ data.
Riversdale had a median house price of $375,000 in November 2017 – an increase of 52.9 per cent in two years.
Mr Denniston’s recent sales of beachfront properties ranged from $500,000 to $800,000, he said.
Three- to four-bedroom homes off the beachfront were going for more than $400,000 at the moment, he said.
Small baches in the Riversdale Holiday park were typically hard to sell due to the license-to-occupy title, but he had sold five in past four months starting at $57,000.
The market began to pick up during January in 2016, after a slump that lasted eight years, he said.
“Riversdale now has the new surf club, the golf club is really strong and is offering meals every Friday all year round, new enthusiastic shopkeepers, and the coffee cart on the beach front.
“The beach has re-found the buzz it had pre-2008 — it’s on a roll of popularity again.”
The traditional busy period was typically from January to April after holiday makers had come for the holidays then decided to buy in the town, he said.
But during the past three months it seemed like people were keener than ever to buy a new holiday home in time for Christmas, he said.
The market was still strong but there was a lack of properties on the market, Mr Denniston said.
In addition to holiday home buyers, about five new groups of people had moved to the town recently to make the most the vibrant community, Mr Denniston.
Harcourts sales agent Bevan Saywell said there had been an influx in buyers wanting to buy near the beach.
Riversdale and Castlepoint were the two top picks, but Riversdale seemed to be more attractive to buyers, he said.
“Riversdale has a lot of Wellington people buying, but Castlepoint is more local and from up Palmerston North way.
“There’s been enough to sell in Riversdale, but not a lot in Castlepoint and that’s purely because there’s nothing on the market,” Mr Saywell said.
Castlepoint has had “only a handful of sales” over the past year compared to a regular turnover in Riversdale.