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Signs of steadying in housing sector

Although the country’s housing market is yet to bottom out, the latest figures from Quotable Value [QV] contain some relatively good news for one Wairarapa district.

Values are continuing to decline across the board, according to QV, with the national average house value zeroing in on $900,000, but the rate of decline is variable.

While the average home value in Wairarapa now sits at $635,111, the region didn’t fare as badly as the national average in QV’s latest House Price Index, with the region’s rate of decline for the first four months of 2023 at -2.9 per cent compared to -4.5 per cent for the nation.

After Carterton weathered the most aggressive decline in the 12 months to April in Wairarapa [-20.9 per cent], it appeared to be stabilising, QV spokesperson Simon Peterson said

“Looking at the numbers alone, it looks like house price reductions in Carterton have slowed right down,” he said.

In the first four months of the year, the average house value in Carterton has dropped a negligible -0.8 per cent to $613,732.

The same could not be said for South Wairarapa, however, where the decline was higher than the national average, with values down 5.2 per cent between January and April to $802,508.

After a more rapid decline in average values in Masterton in the year to April [-19.9 per cent], the rate was slowing, with the first four months of the year showing a drop of -3.9 per cent.

Wairarapa’s biggest town also remained the most affordable of the three districts, with average values sitting at $566,529.

Petersen said the results across New Zealand revealed a “mixed bag”, with QV reporting the average rate of home value decline had slowed in 10 of the 16 largest urban areas it monitors – and Queenstown bucked the trend entirely with a 2.8 per cent increase in average home value in the first quarter of the year.

“The market fundamentals have not changed – credit constraints and high interest rates continue to have a stranglehold on the market,” Peterson said.

“But we are starting to see some small signs that it could be approaching equilibrium.”

Mary Argue
Mary Argue
Mary Argue is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with an interest in justice and the region’s emergency services, regularly covering Masterton District Court, Fire and Emergency and Police.

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