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Small Holdings In Canterbury Hot Property

Small Holdings In Canterbury Hot Property

Prices for some bare 4 hectare lifestyle blocks in Canterbury have leapt more than $50,000 in price in less than a year. Terrance White, who specialises in marketing lifestyle properties for leading Canterbury real estate company, Simes Ltd, says the strong demand, similar to that prevailing in the city property market, is driving the significant price rises.

"We are getting huge inquiry for any properties under $250,000, but there is little available,'' Mr White says.

Developers are keen to secure large properties close to town, to subdivide into small holdings, but few farmers are selling. Mr White says he would like to hear from anyone with land to sell.

Mr White noticed that the market gained momentum early last year. He was marketing a rural-lifestyle sub-division at that time, expecting it to take a year to sell. Instead keen buyers snapped up all the blocks within six months.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures released this week show 115 lifestyle blocks changed hands in Canterbury in December compared with 65 the year before and the median price rose about 36% to $305,000.

"The extent of the price rise depends on where the sections are, but 4ha blocks close to Christchurch are often selling for $50,000 to $70,000 more than last year,'' Mr White says.

An interesting aspect of the market is the spill over of high section prices in the city to the rural residential market. Many buyers are weighing up their choices and deciding a lifestyle block is a preferable option.

The prolonged drought in the region is not deterring buyers. "People want to move to rural areas for the lifestyle. A dry summer is part of that lifestyle,'' Mr White says.

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