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House prices hit record high for October


MP says region ‘just can’t keep up’

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The median house price in Masterton and South Wairarapa has reached a record high, shunting first homebuyers further out of the market.

In South Wairarapa, 22 houses were sold in October for a median price of $710,444, a whopping $118,000 more than the same month last year, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand’s latest report showed.

In Masterton, 51 houses sold in October for a median price of $531,000, which was $121,000 more than the median price the same month last year.

Carterton, while not achieving a record price, had a higher median sale price than Masterton, at $564,000, with 25 houses sold in October.

This was an increase of $124,000 on October last year.

Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty said housing affordability had been an issue in New Zealand for years.

“It is great news that people are wanting to move to Wairarapa. Growth is the goal, but it needs to be sustainable, and it needs to be fair.

He remembered doing a social studies project at Chanel College on how Masterton should adapt for its projected ageing and decreasing population.

“Things sure have changed,” he said.

“And despite a surge in construction in our region, with activity at all-time highs, and an increase in wages, despite covid, we just can’t keep up.”

He said a shortage of supply and increased demand was causing the rise in prices.

“The government is addressing this in three ways – a government-sponsored building scheme, making apprenticeships free, and making it easier for the private sector to build houses by amending the Resource Management Act.

“Here in Wairarapa, we also need to take the heat out of the rental market by bringing back Housing NZ, as well as partner with community providers.

“I’ve already set up a meeting with the new Housing Minister to brief her on the unique situation we have in Wairarapa and suggesting some solutions.”

Rob Slater, of Tremains Wairarapa, said there was strong demand for property coming particularly from Wellington that was being compounded by very low interest rates.

“People are seeing Wairarapa property as a fantastic investment, resulting in massive demand which is seeing our sales consultants achieve record prices for our clients on a daily basis.”

Prue Hamill of Harcourts Hamill Realty said the rising house prices were making things “very hard” for first home buyers.

She said prospective first home buyers were deciding to build new houses at a similar cost to buying, but that this could only be done by high-income earners.

She welcomed any government support or policy that would ensure fairness for all homebuyers.

She said many local buyers had missed out on several Wairarapa properties before successfully buying their first home.

“They have had to lift their price expectations and go after it.

“We’re also seeing buyers from Wellington, Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Taupo, and also some expats that are planning to return to Wairarapa in 12 months but are buying property now.”

Reinz regional director Mark Coffey said properties were selling quick in the Wellington region.

“The fear of missing out is influencing these quick sales, and we expect this pressure will continue in a similar manner over the coming months as demand continues to outstrip supply.”


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