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An op­por­tu­nity for buy­ers

Manawatu Standard - - Front Page - PAUL MITCHELL

First-time buy­ers and home­own­ers look­ing for an up­grade are back in the Palmer­ston North prop­erty game as ris­ing house prices ease.

The city’s me­dian house price fell back to $336,000 in Septem­ber – $49,000 less than Au­gust’s record high and only 1.8 per cent higher than Septem­ber last year.

Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Bindi Nor­well said this would be welcome news for first-time buy­ers and any­one strug­gling to save for a new house.

‘‘Re­flect­ing this change, we’ve seen ap­prox­i­mately 10 per cent more first-time buy­ers ac­tive in the market than this time last year.’’

Manawatu¯ -Whanganui’s me­dian house price of $271,000 in Septem­ber was up 8.4 per cent on a year ago, but was $14,000 less than in Au­gust this year.

At the same time, there was a 30 per cent drop in the num­ber of in­vestors com­pet­ing with them after new rules were brought in about de­posits for in­vest­ment prop­er­ties, Nor­well said.

Prop­erty Bro­kers agent David Klue said in­vestors step­ping back had cre­ated an op­por­tu­nity for first-time buy­ers to get back in the game.

‘‘In­vestors buy houses for a liv­ing. They’re in a much stronger po­si­tion to just jump in.

‘‘First-time buy­ers have a lot of con­di­tions to sat­isfy with Ki­wisaver, builders, the banks... They usu­ally have to put in an of­fer for six to seven prop­er­ties be­fore fi­nally get­ting one.’’

Klue said there was still a crit­i­cal short­age of houses listed for sale, so com­pe­ti­tion re­mained fierce in most brack­ets.

But, list­ing num­bers seemed to be im­prov­ing. More prop­erty own­ers felt com­fort­able tak­ing the risk to up­grade to a bet­ter house.

For the first time in 18 months, there were plenty of of­fers com­ing in that were con­di­tional on the sale of the buyer’s pre­vi­ous home, Klue said.

Palmer­ston North cou­ple Lance and Joanna Rete­meyer were among buy­ers who took ad­van­tage of the favourable con­di­tions last month to make a change.

Lance Rete­meyer said the cou­ple fell in love with a Wind­sor St house, but it was in the $600,000-plus price bracket.

Rete­meyer said they did the math and re­alised if they sold their mid-priced Bright­wa­ter Tce home in this market, they could af­ford to buy it with a slight fi­nan­cial stretch. ‘‘But we were very sur­prised and happy with the in­ter­est in it, how quickly it went, and how good a price we got.’’

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WIL­SON/STUFF

Lance Rete­meyer has just sold his Bright­wa­ter Tce house in Palmer­ston North so he can buy a more ex­pen­sive prop­erty in the city.

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