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Fast-moving Housing Market Tough For First Home Buyers

Competition amongst first-home buyers has increased since Covid-19 arrived in New Zealand, and it’s getting tougher to get into the market as demand outstrips supply - especially in regional NZ.

Real Estate Institute figures show the annual median house price in Taranaki increased by 15.3% in August to $451,000. Kim Fever, Owner of Tall Poppy New Plymouth, says first-home buyers in Taranaki are contending with rising house prices and multiple offers on properties.

“There are fewer properties on the market under the $450,000 mark, meaning properties at the ‘First Home Buyer level’ are more limited than ever. Add to the mix that finance is taking longer for the banks to approve and it’s making it harder for them to get on the ladder,” says Kim Fever.

Demand for new builds in the regions is also putting pressure on the property market, with land scarce.

“If people can’t buy an existing home, they’re looking to new builds, due to the low-maintenance lifestyle and warmth they offer. But just like homes in the traditional first-home buyer bracket, prices are also increasing. Previously, you could buy a new build for under $700k; now the prices have crossed that threshold,” says Kim Fever.

Tall Poppy New Plymouth is reporting a 30% increase in house sales since March 2020.

The shift to a remote-working culture is also seeing families relocating from big cities like Auckland, Christchurch, Tauranga, and Wellington, looking for more land and bigger homes.

“They want to be more self-sustained, have their veggie gardens and space for their family. With more people working from home, they’re also looking to scale up and moving from three to four bedrooms is popular because they need an office.”

“There’s a much bigger emphasis on family, and we often see parents coming to open homes looking for their children who want to move back to New Plymouth. Especially buyers in their 20’s to ’30’s, who are moving closer to their parents and families before starting a family of their own,” says Kim Fever.

Tall Poppy is a New Zealand Real Estate Agency, headquartered on the Kāpiti Coast, north of Wellington. Founded in 2012, it operates throughout New Zealand and has saved New Zealanders more than $53 million in fees. It is working to create a fairer real estate industry for all Kiwis and prides itself in being an active member of the communities in which it operates. Tall Poppy was a Finalist in the 2019 REINZ Awards in the Large Agency Category.

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