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News in brief, March 20, 2023

Wet soils
and weather

In its latest hotspot update, Niwa has confirmed what most farmers already know – Wairarapa currently has some of the wettest soils in the North Island. Niwa said although most parts of the island received 25mm of rain in the past week, most areas were recording drier soils compared to normal for this time of year, however, “the wettest soils for this time of the year are found in Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa”. It said the forecast for the coming week indicated showers for most of the North Island tomorrow, followed by a few days of dry weather. It said there was a small chance a hotspot could form around Horowhenua over the week. Metservice has forecast showers tomorrow in Wairarapa with strong northwesterlies turning to the southwest in the afternoon. Cloud and isolated showers are expected throughout the week, with heavy rain returning for the weekend.

Feline rescue

Demonstrating they will turn out no matter what for the community, Masterton Fire Brigade performed a rescue of the feline kind yesterday. The brigade responded to a cat-stuck-in-a-tree call shortly before 1pm. Station officer Doug Flowerday said the rescue was performed swiftly, and the cat and owner were reunited without incident.

House prices dip

In its latest snapshot of median house prices, the Real Estate Institute New Zealand [REINZ] has revealed that while South Wairarapa is enjoying similar prices compared to this time last year, Carterton and Masterton districts are still a long way from 2022 median prices. A sample of 12 houses sold last month recorded a median house price of $560,000 in Carterton, according to REINZ, a drop from the median of $738,000 recorded from 11 houses sold in February 2022. REINZ indicated a similar drop in Masterton, with a median of $532,000 from 27 houses sold last month, down from $740,000 from a sample of 23 sold last year. Meanwhile, from a sample of 16 houses sold, South Wairarapa recorded a median house price of $850,630, a minor decrease from $855,000 recorded from the same number sold in February 2022.

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