Auction sales this month in one of New Zealand's best known surfing towns show just how much housing market has changed.
Five years ago the median property value for Raglan was $425,000. Now it's $785,000 - a leap of 85 per cent or $360,000.
"Raglan's really up-and-coming. It's not sleepy anymore," said Ray White Raglan owner Matthew Smith, who sold five out of five properties at a November auction, with prices ranging from $612,000 to around $2 million.
"People are moving to Raglan to enhance their lifestyle. It reminds me of Waiheke 20 years ago, only surf beaches not vineyards."
Ray White sales agent Julie Hanna, who marketed the five properties on the block in November, says prices have definitely leapt.
"Prices are moving up this summer. This time last year you'd be lucky to get say $500,000 for the place that went for $612,000."
That $612,000 place is a modest two-bedroom vintage bach at 71 Wainui Rd on the edge of town. The top sale in November was $810,000, for a four-bedroom house at 16 Taipari Ave that was billed as a do-up. A 1950s house on a huge corner site of 1172sq m at 74 Wainui Rd went for $800,000, while an immaculate two-bedroom, two-storeyed 1980s bach at 20 Lorenzen Bay Rd achieved $703,000.
The fifth property at the November auction, the 13-room Ocean View Raglan bed and breakfast, was passed in at $2.35m and is now under contract. It was sold as a going concern, attracting bidders from around the region.
Hanna, who has been selling real estate in the town for 26 years, says all the properties had good attendance at open homes, with four or five bidders on the two lower-priced properties.
"We don't use CVs in Raglan. They are three years old and totally out of synch. Our appraisals are coming within cooee of [auction prices] and recent comparable sales, they don't go over expectations at the higher price ranges."
Hanna says the attractive low price of the small bach at 71 Wainui (it has a 2017 rating valuation of $390,000) drew the most bidders. She added that not everyone had the appetite for the do-up on Taipari, despite its good location.
Hanna says buyers are mostly permanent residents, and range from retirees to young first-home buyers getting into the market now that their travel and OE plans have been stymied by Covid.
"There are also Aucklanders planning to move down here and eventually live. Some of them hope to rent out in the meantime, as rentals are very short.
"A lot of people are not renting out anymore because of the [healthy homes] rental laws, they're just to using it themselves as a holiday home."
Hanna says that requests for appraisals for new listings are increasing now that people see how fast properties are selling.
"A four-week auction programme and they're gone, or priced at optimum dollar is the way to go.
"If I hear of others selling in one day, I wonder at that and think 'they've undersold by $100,000'.
"On a sunny day, we've got buyers here looking. In fact, now we're trying to find properties for buyers. We hope summer is crazy-busy and the listings come on."
Smith says he's definitely seeing more Auckland buyers heading to the west coast town, attracted by the easy highway bypass.
"It's a much easier drive than Coromandel now. I would say the market is now in a nice equilibrium, a nice balance, a good mix of properties and a good mix of buyers."
- By OneRoof