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Property lolly scramble as listings plummet

By Seamus Boyer
[email protected]
Open homes are heaving with buyers scrambling to get their hands on Wairarapa property as a lack of listings starts to get serious.
The amount of Wairarapa houses being listed has plummeted over the past 12 months, with new listings down 18.9 per cent on the same time last year.
The figures, from Realestate.co.nz, show the region as the hardest hit in the country for lack of stock, with just 116 new listings in July.
That’s pushing up regional asking prices, with the July average up 3.3 per cent on the previous month, to $372,300.
Guy Mordaunt, regional manager for Property Brokers, said Wairarapa had not seen such a lack of stock since the early 2000s.
“I haven’t seen anything like it.”
Two years ago there were 140 houses on the market in Carterton, recently there were just 32, including some sections, he said.
He said while it was “fantastic if you’re selling a house”, buyers needed to do their homework and be prepared to put their best foot forward straight away.
“If you have a house to sell before you buy, you just can’t.
“You have to be prepared, you have to be cashed-up and ready.”
LJ Hooker principal David McHattie said houses under $300,000 had been attracting up to 20 groups at open homes.
Houses in the first-home bracket of under $250,000 were catching up to peak levels from 2007.
He said interest from outside the region had been “huge” over the past few months, from Wellingtonians but also from Aucklanders and others “north of Taupo”.
While it may be difficult to find a property to buy, figures show investors are getting a good return on their Wairarapa investments.
Based on a calculation of average asking price versus weekly rental price, excluding all external costs, investors here can expect 6.01 per cent of asking price over a 12-month period.
That puts the region second nationally, only behind the West Coast.

Prices up around the region
Latest QV stats show the average sale price in Masterton is up 0.6 per cent to $249,667 over the past three months.
Carterton is up 2.4 per cent to $286,582 over the same period, and South Wairarapa up 3.1 per cent to $329,795.
QV Wellington spokesman David Cornford said Wellington buyers were widening their catchment area for potential purchases.
“First home buyers continue to look further afield in order to secure a property with outer fringe areas of Porirua, the Hutt Valley and South Wairarapa all being popular with first home buyers who have been priced out of the Wellington City market.”
QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said the figures showed values were continuing to rise rapidly in many parts of New Zealand buoyed by low interest rates, strong investor activity and high net migration.
“It’s too soon to tell what impact the Reserve Bank’s new 40 per cent deposit requirement for anyone purchasing a property they do not intend to live in will have on the market.
“However there are reports the new rules have already led to some offers being withdrawn by investors in parts of the country.”

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