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First-home buyers priced out of market

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The days are gone for first-home buyers wanting to jump on to the Wairarapa property ladder, a real estate agent says.

While the region’s property market has calmed down compared with last year, prices are still increasing but at a slower rate.

Wairarapa’s three districts experienced some of the country’s highest value growth increases year on year to April.

South Wairarapa had the strongest house value growth across the country with a 23 per cent increase with an average house price of $477,960 as of
last month.

The lower to mid end of the market continued to be strong with plenty of first-home buyer activity, QV registered valuer David Cornford said.

This was due to rising rents making it comparatively more affordable to purchase an entry-level home and pay off a mortgage, than to rent, he said.

Guy Mordaunt. PHOTO/FILE

However, Wairarapa Property Brokers manager Guy Mordaunt said: “It is bloody tough to get on the property ladder.”

“If I was guessing, I’d say the days of buying a nice three-bedroom house under $200,000 are gone,” he said.

House prices have sky-rocketed in Martinborough, and with Greytown and Featherston prices already “berserk” it left first home buyers looking at the Carterton and Masterton markets, Mr Mordaunt said.

However, Carterton’s average house price is $387,727 and Masterton’s is $338,665, according to latest data from Quotable Value.

“The houses that were $180,000 in Masterton and Carterton are now $250,000 – you can still find stuff, but there’s going to be something wrong with it, it wouldn’t be a comfortable house.”

According to the QV figures, Carterton closely followed South Wairarapa with a house price increase of 17.6 per cent year on year. Masterton’s prices grew by 16.4 per cent.

Other districts that experienced similar year on year growth include Otorohanga [21 per cent], Central Hawke’s Bay [19.8 per cent] and Napier [17.6 per cent].

The quarterly value growth remained “healthy” compared with the main centres where house values had slowed, and in some cases had stalled, Mr Cornford said.

Carterton had the strongest house price growth over the past three months of 5.9 per cent, followed by South Wairarapa at 4.4 per cent and Masterton at 3.4 per cent.

“The reason for the sustained value growth can be partly attributed to the continued trend of people seeking a lifestyle change away from the city and purchasing better-valued properties in the region,” Mr Cornford said.

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