Red-eyed residents on the move
Hayfever sufferers have given the Marlborough property market a welcome ‘‘shot in the arm’’ as redeyed residents seek solace in more built-up areas.
Homeowners plagued with itchy eyes, sneezing and laboured breathing are swarming real estate agents to get away from parks, pitches, picnic areas, reserves or anywhere with wattle trees.
Witherlea residents, who once gloated about their ‘‘views of the Wither Hills’’, are cursing the farm park with its rolling green walking tracks.
Blenheim realtor John Greenhill said one client sold her home on Taylor Pass Rd, and bought a place off Main St, after rubbing her eyes for three days straight.
‘‘She was beside herself,’’ Greenhill said.
‘‘I could have sold her a place on Budge [St]. The only problem was keeping the contract dry from under her runny nose.’’
People in the gated community of Dry Hills Lane, at the foot of the hills, were considering selling their million dollar homes for half the price, Greenhill said.
‘‘They’re coming to me saying, ‘I don’t care, just get me out of here’.’’
Notting Hill resident Vivienne Wadsworth said her gorgeous six-bedroom home with four toilets (two ensuite), double garaging, a rumpus room and a pool had become a prison.
They had not opened a window for six weeks, Wadsworth said.
And her seven-year-old twins Hugo and Archie had been off school for a month with hayfever.
‘‘They battled and battled but no amount of lying in a dark room with a wet cloth over their eyes could help,’’ she said.
Wadsworth had even tried catching bees in her well-manicured garden to sting the boys.
‘‘Somebody at our women’s book club told me that would make the boys immune, but I caught a wasp by mistake and had to take Archie to hospital.’’
Greenhill said the dreaded yellow pollen had also bolstered the beleaguered rental market in Marlborough.
Some hayfever sufferers in Springlands, rather than sell their precious properties, had started renting small one-bedroom apartments in central Blenheim for the whole family.
Wairau Valley farmer Dave McLean, whose house is surrounded by pine trees, said townies needed to harden up and carry a handkerchief.
Antihistamines were invented by large pharmaceutical companies looking to rip people off, he said.
It’s shaping up to be a long summer for hayfever sufferers.