Housing prices raising the bar
Manawatu house prices continue to hit record highs, frustrating first home buyers.
Manawatu/Whanganui house prices are the highest they’ve been since Real Estate Institute of New Zealand records began 20 years ago, with the region seeing some of the highest increases in the country.
The Manawatu/ Whanganui median house price has gone up 21 per cent, to $265,000, in the 12 months to January. Only two regions had a quicker rise in house prices; Nelson/Marlborough, up 25 per cent, and Waitkato/ Bay of Plenty, up 22 per cent.
REINZ Manawatu spokesman Andy Stewart said plenty of first home buyers were still combing the market, but they were facing an increasingly discouraging search.
‘‘It’s becoming harder and more frustrating for them to buy. Properties are going quick and for more than they’re willing or able to front up for at first,’’ Stewart said.
It took an average of 23 days for a Palmerston North house to sell in 2016, just over half the time it took in 2010.
Stewart said with interest rates remaining low, and fierce competition between first home buyers, prices were pushing up at the bottom of the market.
In January, 37 per cent of city houses sold went for under $300,000.
Most Palmerston North city houses remained under $400,000. The portion sold below that mark was unchanged over the year at 73 per cent.