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Is Carterton the next big thing?

By Beckie Wilson
[email protected]

The whole of the region maybe booming for property buyers, but within Wairarapa, could Carterton prove to be the next big thing?
The affordable Wairarapa lifestyle is attracting buyers from all over the country, with specific interest from Wellington and Auckland.
Aucklanders see the region as a cheaper option as property prices soar in the super city, with an average asking price of well over $900,000.
For Wellingtonians, the daily commute is worth it for the country life-style, while also being near enough to a main centre.
That means Wairarapa is a gold mine for anyone looking for a change, to invest, or even for first home buyers.
The NZ Property Report, by realestate.co.nz, for the month of October showed that while the average asking price in the region was down on the same period last year, the demand – average number of views per residential property – was up by 58.9 per cent.
However, the number of new listings had plummeted 23 per cent over the same period.
Brendon Skipper, realestate.co.nz CEO, said that while Auckland asking prices continued to rise, people were seeing this as a good time to leave the city life behind.
Meanwhile in Wellington, the city has seen plenty of growth.
“Where a major city is having a supply and demand issue, therefore there is a spill out into provisional centres,” he said.
“[Wairarapa] is the region that has seen the highest demand growth in the past 12 months and a decrease in the average listings. It’s pretty staggering.”
As listings were down, “there is a classic supply and demand issue,” he said.
“It makes sense that Aucklanders would be looking at other regions and not only exploring investment options, but also weighing up the lifestyle benefits of a move outside of the big city,” said Mr Skipper.
But while the region as a whole is experiencing the high demand of interest, both from buyers living in and outside of the region, many agents are identifying Carterton as the potential next hotspot.
And real estate agents in the region are making the most of it.
Sylvia Wildermoth, director of LJ Hooker in Carterton, said she believed the town’s attraction came from a variety of aspects including the friendly people, and the access to amenities and schools.
Over the months August to October last year, the agency sold 56 properties in the town.
During the same period this year, that had increased to 73 properties, as sourced from REINZ.
Ms Wildermoth also said the train, and the close proximity of the station to the town, was a drawcard, making the commute to Wellington more appealing for buyers.
Prue Hamill of Harcourts in Masterton said that the Wairarapa region across the board was attracting everyone from families to retirees for various reasons.
She is expecting even greater interest over the Christmas period as ex-Wairarapa families travelled back to the region for the holidays, and realised how good the region was to live in.
“No-one says ‘where?’ anymore when talking about the Wairarapa.”

NEW COMPANY, SAME STORY
Jo-Kelly & Co Realty in Carterton opened only 10 days ago and have boomed with success.
Within the past 5 days the agency has sold $2.1m of real estate.
The High St agency is a boutique office run by two sale agents.
One of those, Jo Wisler, said lots of interest came from younger couples where one or both people were working in Wellington and could make the easy commute to the city.
Current inquiries were coming from Auckland and Wellington, but there was also strong local interest.
“The Wairarapa lifestyle, affordability, value for money, just over an hour to Wellington and great people, are all reasons that people are choosing the Wairarapa.”

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