CAPTION: A two-bedroom home on a 500m2 section on Brandon St, Featherston with views of Pine Tree Hill and the domain on offer for $235,000 by Professionals PHOTO/SUPPLIED

By Beckie Wilson

beckie.wilson@age.co.nz

Featherston is fulfilling its potential of being a satellite town of cities over the Hill – and current anecdotal evidence from real estate agents appear to back this up.

The town’s charm now effectively rests with its affordable house prices with Quotable Value registered valuer David Cornford saying it provided a cheaper alternative for those who could not purchase a home in Wellington where the current average house price was a lofty $700,00 in comparison.

The drive from the Hutt Valley to Featherston might add travel time, but for some, this could be the difference buying a three-bedroom home with one bathroom instead of two.

“The Featherston township is improving and having an impact on property values,” Mr Cornford said.

Buyers were starting to weigh up what they could get in Featherston for the same price in Wellington, he added.

“People are thinking ‘I’m prepared to travel an extra 30 minutes and in return get that extra bedroom or bathroom’.”

Featherston continues to boast the lowest house prices in the region, the latest national QV e-valuer data says, with an average value of $245,250. This was significantly lower than Greytown’s average value of $446,000, and South Wairarapa’s average of $387,687.

Local real estate agents said that while Featherston’s average house price increase was high –21 per cent growth since April 2016 — properties “are really cheap”.

The steady stream of interest in the South Wairarapa town, forcing them to take wait lists, was also because of the higher, and wider, range of house prices in other parts of the region.

A four-bedroom home on an 860m2 section on West St, Greytown was on the market for $450,000, compared to a three-bedroom home on Taylor St, Carterton on a 792m2 section priced at $280,000.

The average house price for Carterton is $334,835, with Masterton’s average house price significantly lower at $288,996, according to QV data.

Professionals agent Fran Scott, who has been working in real estate in Featherston for the past eight years, said even though the prices were increasing “they are still really cheap in Featherston”.

She noticed a spike in buyer interest in the town about two years ago, and said the town was now seen as a “good place to live”.

“Basically [eight years ago], it was all of landlord investments bought in a high market and now they are getting their returns back,” she said.

“We have seen a lot of investment selling now and being bought by people wanting to live in them.”

Mrs Scott said there were various sub-divisions and new cafes and shops also attracting buyers.

Property Brokers agent Erin Nesdale said buyers were continually phoning her wanting to get details of her latest listings.

She recently listed a large six-bedroom home on a 1000m2 section, for an offer to be made only six hours later.

“Commercially, Featherston is also buzzing with lots of people wanting to start or grow their business in Featherston,” she said.