Larger properties appeal
Temuka properties have been selling like hot cakes, according to local real estate agents.
The properties seem to appeal to first- home buyers because they tend to have larger quarter-acre (1011-square-metre) sections, as opposed to Timaru's 600sqm to 700sqm. Properties in Timaru had often been subdivided and there was no room for horses or dogs.
Real estate agent Jill Bennett said she was selling considerably more properties at this time of the year than she had last year, but she would not reveal figures, citing commercial sensitivity.
Some people chose to buy their first house in Temuka because it was cheaper than Timaru, while others liked living in the area and commuted.
"It's a good place to live, it's safe and it's friendly," she said. The sections appealed because they were flat and bargains could be found.
Since Christmas, Ms Bennett has sold three properties for about $150,000.
One was a three-bedroomed villa with a big section which needed work, while another one was smaller with two bedrooms, but well presented.
To get into the market, first-home buyers sometimes chose properties which needed work and it meant they could spend when they could afford to at their own pace, Ms Bennett said.
With interest rates of between 4 per cent and 5 per cent, there was a shortage of listings.
Ms Bennett said she usually had about 40 or 50 listings, but was down to about 20, because they were selling so quickly.
The Timaru Herald