Buyers are being asked to fork out more for a house in Masterton and Carterton than a year ago but less in South Wairarapa, new figures reveal.
Trade Me's Property Price Index shows the average asking price for a Masterton property in the three months to February was $276,400 - a 1.8 per cent increase on the corresponding quarter last year.
The average asking price for a Carterton property was $318,500, which was 5.6 per cent more than in the previous year.
However, would-be South Wairarapa home buyers were asked an average of $333,150 for a property in the three months to February - 4.18 per cent down on January and 0.8 down on the corresponding time last year.
The index measured trends in the selling prices for residential property listings added to Trade Me Property by real estate agents and private sellers during the past three months.
Meanwhile, Real Estate Institute data shows 68 properties were sold in Wairarapa last month - an increase of 14 from January and up 22 from February last year.
Principal at Professionals Patrick & Scott, Andy Scott, said growth in confidence and low interest rates were helping to drive the market in Wairarapa.
"The market is steady at the moment and asking prices are slowly increasing - slowly but not remarkably. There is a bit more confidence in the market possibly due to interest rates and the fact that Wairarapa is still the cheapest place to buy," he said. "There is also interest from over the hill (Wellington), which has helped to drive the market."
The market in Masterton had only just started to improve. "Masterton has been behind the eight ball for some time and it is starting to look like it is catching up now, and Carterton has been on a roll for the past 12 months," he said.
Sellers were reaching asking prices if their properties were reasonably priced.
"There is a bit of negotiating going on but if they price the house realistically then the homes are selling quite well."
Nationally, the average listed price for all property types in the three months to February bounced back to above $500,000 to $505,350 - just below the record high set in November last year.
That was a 1.4 per cent on the three months to January and a 12.3 per cent increase year on year.
Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said the increase was "clearly foreshadowed" in the previous couple of months.
"We've seen plenty of speculation that interest rates will be easing rather than tightening," he said. "The upshot is that the property market appears to have re-ignited.
"The trend for year-on-year price movement remains well into double figures: the 12.3 per cent increase represents a lift of over $55,000 in average asking price.
"In other words, asking prices have gone up more than $1000 every week across the country over the past year."
The average asking price for a one or two-bedroom house in the three months to February was $337,000 (up 14.6 per cent year-on-year), while the average asking price for a three or four-bedroom house was $511,950 (up 11.6 per cent year-on-year). The price of a house with five or more bedrooms had also increased - up 6.1 per cent to $871,950 on the corresponding period last year.
Most regions had increases, Mr Jeffries said. "Looking at the year-on-year data, 13 of the 15 regions showed decent growth in average asking prices.
"The only exceptions were Northland, which was sluggish and only up 0.7 per cent, and Otago, which was the only region to swing into negative territory."
Real Estate Institute chief executive Colleen Milne said the surge in sales last month was partially due to fewer-than-expected sales in January.NZME.