Cheaper housing a bonus

By Aaron van Delden

The Manawatu/Wanganui region has been rated the second most affordable area to purchase property in New Zealand, at 71.27 per cent of the national average.

The region experienced a 2.9 per cent improvement in affordability during the quarter ending February 2012, and a 13.2 per cent improvement since February 2011.

That is borne out by the fact that 69 per cent of those who responded to Wanganui District Council's Community Outcomes Survey said house prices are affordable in Wanganui.

The latest Home Affordability Report from Massey University's Real Estate Analysis Unit compares average weekly earnings with the median house price and average mortgage interest rate.

Its author, Professor Bob Hargreaves, said that although the affordability of housing in Wanganui was unlikely to be the chief reason for people moving to the area, it was certainly a bonus.

And that view is echoed by real estate agent Tim Hocquard of Ray White Wanganui.

"For the price of quite an average house in Palmerston North, for example, you could be looking at a far nicer property here," Mr Hocquard said.

Family ties, employment and positive encounters with the district were the most common reasons his clients had for migrating to Wanganui.

Meanwhile, Auckland remained the least affordable region to buy a house, at 125.3 per cent of the national average, while at 54.5 per cent, Southland retained its position as the most affordable.

What makes Wanganui great? Join the celebration by sharing your views. Log on to our Facebook page, email (with Celebrating Wanganui in the subject line) or post to Celebrating Wanganui, Editorial, Wanganui Chronicle, PO Box 433, Wanganui.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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