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Hot summer for the Wairarapa property market

ELI HILL
eli.hill@age.co.nz
It’s been a hot summer for the Wairarapa property market.

After a record-breaking December, house prices in January were well above where they were the previous year in Masterton and South Wairarapa.

Carterton was also up on the same time last year, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

Masterton had a median price of $440,000, up 51.7 per cent on January 2019.

However, the price was down 7.8 per cent on December last year when prices reached a record of $477,000.

Masterton had 56 houses sold in January, up from 43 in December, and 31 in January 2019.

Carterton’s median price was $510,000 for the month, up 25 per cent on January 2019 and also a 13.3 per cent increase on December last year.

There were 11 properties sold in Carterton in January, down on the 16 sold in December and the 18 in January 2019.

Houses in South Wairarapa still command the highest prices in the region with a median of $575,000 for January, up 18.6 per cent on January 2019.

Similar to Masterton, South Wairarapa didn’t reach the record price of $625,000 it achieved in December 2019.

There were 21 houses sold in South Wairarapa in January, down from 28 in December, but up from 13 in January 2019.

Wairarapa was below the national median price of $615,000, and the Wellington region median of $620,000 for the month.

REINZ Wellington regional director Mark Coffey said there were some local buyers, but plenty of buyers were coming from Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, and Wellington.

“[Wairarapa] is certainly a destination of choice for a lot of people now.”

Barring a major catastrophe such as the coronavirus outbreak having a bigger effect, Coffey said he expected prices to keep climbing through the year.

“Not racing up but steadily moving upwards.”

The Wellington region – which Wairarapa comes under has the lowest housing inventory in the country – with just eight weeks’ worth of houses for sale.

In contrast, the South Island’s West Coast has more than 3½ years’ worth of inventory.

“The lower it gets, the worse it gets because people are reluctant to sell if they’ve got nowhere to move to,” Coffey said.

Lack of housing stock was also a major factor in the climbing prices.

“With less stock available, if people want to buy, they have to pay what’s on offer.”