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Property prices in Manawatu plummet

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 09:56 12/12/2012

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House prices nationwide are climbing slightly, but the trend has not affected the wider Manawatu region, the latest monthly property value index released by Quotable Value shows.

Manawatu/Whanganui home buyers are still able to snap up homes valued at an average 20 per cent less than this time last year, with the average value of a home in the district $228,552. The national average is $421,497.

Last month, the Roost Home Loan Affordability survey showed it would take 54.8 per cent of a single median income to service a mortgage in New Zealand.

But in the Manawatu/Whanganui region, it would require only 34.7 per cent, down on the 61.5 per cent from five years ago, and only Southland was rated as more affordable.

And Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures released in October showed 71 per cent of properties sold in Palmerston North in the previous month went for under $340,000.

The latest figures from QV show most main provincial centres remain stable with slight increases in value over the past three months and 1.5 per cent above the previous market peak of late 2007.

Palmerston North home buyers were looking at an average value of $281,065 for a residential property, compared with $435,468 in Wellington and $707,591 for a central Auckland home.

In the past three months, the Palmerston North average house value rose a touch - the exception in the region as Manawatu, Rangitikei and Horowhenua values continued a downward trend.

The average value of a Horowhenua property has dropped almost 18 per cent since last year, while Tararua values remained static.

Houses in Palmerston North's surrounding districts were valued at an average 2 to 3 per cent lower in the last three months. Residential values remain lowest in Rangitikei, with the average house valued at $144,589.

QV research director Jonno Ingerson said the increase in nationwide values continued to be driven primarily by Auckland and Canterbury. "Across the rest of the country values have been steady or increasing very slightly over the past six months. However, in the last month or two many of these areas have begun to falter.

"Outside Auckland and Canterbury the property market remains subdued as buyers are generally cautious, and there are few quality properties on the market for them to choose from.

"As has been the case for several years now, well-presented properties in sought-after areas will tend to sell quickly for good prices."

The housing market was entering a traditionally quiet time of year, he said. "Since the 2008 market downturn this has tended to be a time of the year when people take stock . . ."

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- Manawatu Standard

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