Affordable home? How about this?
While people in the city are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder, a 112-year-old country homestead is up for grabs in Central Hawke’s Bay for less than the average cost of a threebedroom Auckland or Wellington home.
The two-storey homestead, in the community of Omakere, comes with five bedrooms, a wine storeroom, tennis court, pond, formal lounge and 4.4 hectares.
The downside: no cellphone reception, and a 15-minute drive to get a coffee.
Offers over $574,000 are being considered for the property, but owners John and Karen Morrell are hopeful they will sell it for more than $600,000.
‘‘I think the reality, particularly in Auckland the way prices are going, is it becomes prohibitive for people to aspire to own this kind of property, even within a 20-kilometre radius of Auckland,’’ John Morrell said.
‘‘If you move to Hawke’s Bay, which to me is the best area of New Zealand, and get a property like this for the price of a threebedroom house in maybe South Auckland ... it is a fantastic opportunity.’’
Craig Lowe, director of Lowe & Co Realty, said a house of a similar size in Wellington would likely sell for more than $1 million.
‘‘$800,000 buys you pretty much a good, well-renovated threebedroom place in the eastern suburbs.
‘‘Two years ago the average price was $600,000 – that has been the change in the last 18 months.’’
According to the Real Estate Institute, the median house price in Auckland fell a seasonally adjusted 1.7 per cent last month to $800,000.
The Morrells bought the property in 2000 while living in Wellington, and since then John has run his business from the house.
‘‘I was having a coffee when we lived in Wellington and I saw an article in The Dominion which featured this property ... I thought, ‘Wow, that looks like an intriguing kind of property’... We came out here and basically fell in love with it.
‘‘The overall environment is what I like about it. It is the house, plus where it is located.’’
The couple were moving to be closer to family, but said they would miss the ‘‘Omakere traffic jams’’ – sheep on the road.
‘‘It is quite easy to say, ‘I am jealous of where you live’, but the challenge is making the move.
‘‘A lot of people kind of love the idea but can’t quite get the courage to break away. People said we were brave, it’s no big deal,’’ Morrell said.
‘‘It is an hour from here to Napier airport. It used to take me an hour and half to go from Browns Bay to Auckland airport.’’
The wooden house, which is 10 minutes from the east coast, features matai panelling, and the garden includes Californian redwoods and English oaks.
Farmlands real estate agent Anne Wilson, who listed the property, said there had been interest from all over the country.
Morrell said: ‘‘It would suit someone who is wanting to live in the country, what I call the real New Zealand, and be prepared to enjoy the environment [here].‘‘
The property features a large lawn area and tennis court.