Home­owner’s dream alive

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - JACK BAR­LOW

With ris­ing prices and soar­ing de­mand, is first-home own­er­ship a dy­ing dream in Wairarapa?

Try telling Jessie Pot­tinger that.

De­spite val­ues through­out Wairarapa go­ing up by around 21 per cent, the young Welling­ton ex­pat swooped in and bought her first home in Feather­ston last De­cem­ber.

‘‘For the price I paid here you might find some­thing in the Hutt, but it wouldn’t be any­thing like this,’’ she said.

‘‘This house has two bed­rooms, a big at­tic and a large back­yard.’’

Feather­ston proved an ideal lo­ca­tion for Pot­tinger, in the same way it has for many who have flocked there. She still works in Welling­ton, and her trip to work is rarely more than an hour.

‘‘I hadn’t even spent a night here be­fore buy­ing this place, but Feather­ston has turned out to be a very wel­com­ing com­mu­nity.’’

Pot­tinger is just one of many first home buy­ers who have moved to towns through Wairarapa, par­tic­u­larly Feather­ston, en­ticed by larger prop­er­ties and rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive prices.

Al­though houses re­main af­ford­able for now, val­ues are cer­tainly ris­ing. In South Wairarapa the av­er­age is now $394,000, up from $325,000 a year ago.

Pot­tinger’s house cost around $240,000. She said she’d no­ticed the price rises from afar; one house she’d spot­ted on Trade Me went up over $20,000 in the course of a year.

‘‘(Own­er­ship is) def­i­nitely not out of reach,’’ Pot­tinger said, ‘‘al­though I did get fi­nan­cial help from my fam­ily, as well as Ki­wisaver funds and a gov­ern­ment grant on top of my own sav­ings.’’

Prop­erty Bro­kers’ Guy Mor­daunt said across the board price rises could make it dif­fi­cult for first home buy­ers in the future, al­though not at the mo­ment.

‘‘If you’re look­ing in the re­gion of $250,000, Wairarapa is re­ally the only place you’ll find a nice house for that price,’’ he said.

‘‘Over the past year we’ve seen a big rise in first home buy­ers in the re­gion. Es­pe­cially when you com­pare it to other places around the area, like Welling­ton and Kapiti, it’s still a good place for that.’’

PHOTO: JACK BAR­LOW

First home buyer Jessie Pot­tinger stands out­side her house in Feather­ston. De­spite re­cent price hikes, many say Wairarapa is still a good place to find cheaper houses.

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