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House prices stay in winter cool

Wairarapa house values continue to ride the downward slope of national property prices, but observers believe a period of stability is waiting.

It was at this time last year that the Times-Age reported the first tumble of annual median house prices for a decade.

According to Trade Me’s latest Property Price Index, New Zealand’s average house price has shifted back to where the market was two years ago.

The index suggests a national cooling period, and Trade Me Property sales director Gavin Lloyd said that while prices are still going down, the rate of decline is easing.

“These trends suggest that now is a good time to buy if you have the deposit behind you.”

Lloyd said at a regional level, some prices have retreated more than the national average, which in June sat at $841,050 or $130,400 less than the March 2022 peak.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand [REINZ] June Property Report showed Masterton’s median house price as $550,000, down from $585,000 in the same month last year.

Carterton’s median house price was also at $550,000 but had dropped significantly more from $700,000 a year ago.

South Wairarapa’s median house price had sunk the most, from $870,000 in June last year to $625,000.

Managing director and auctioneer for Harcourts Wairarapa Prue Hamill said market signs over the past month led her to believe there was a growing stability and confidence.

“We have got buyers, and it’s good to say that first-time buyers are coming in,” Hamill said.

“We’re seeing a bit more of a mixture, which indicates people are having more confidence in the market, so I’d like to think that’s happening.”

With only a handful of lifestyle property sales in each region over the last month, Hamill said this amount was likely to improve in the coming months.

“We’ve had such wet weather, and people are probably loathe to come to the market right now,” she said.

Although winter often brings around a dip with fewer listings, Hamill said this didn’t mean it was a bad time for listing a property.

“Often you have fewer places on the market and people are waiting for the spring months so their houses look good, but in all fairness we still have enough buyers,” Hamill said.

“I’ve also been working on a few multiple offers, too which is very pleasing.”

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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