The latest OneRoof Property report shows Whanganui to be the North Island's star performer, with house values more than doubling in the last five years.

The median value of all properties in the city now sits at $295,000 - up 22.9 per cent year on year, although the rate of growth is now beginning to show signs of slowing, with quarterly growth at 1.7 per cent.

OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said houses in Whanganui were still considered affordable compared to property in other regional centres, with first home buyers representing more than 30 per cent of new mortgage registrations in the last month.

"On the one hand, this is great news as it shows a real commitment to Whanganui from those buyers but it does reduce the availability of rental properties," he said.

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Vaughan said some of the purchases were likely to be speculative in that first home buyers are reacting to rising prices and buying while they can afford to.

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"People may be afraid that they are likely to be priced out the market.

"They see a dwindling pool of affordable properties and want to get on the property ladder while they can."

New properties in Springvale and Tawhero.
New properties in Springvale and Tawhero.

While there is a perception that Whanganui is experiencing rapid population growth, Vaughan said this is not borne out by the 2018 Census results.

"They indicate that price surges in Whanganui have not been matched by population growth.

"There are concerns that there aren't enough people to support continued value growth and that prices in Whanganui have reached their limit."

He predicts that there will be a slowing down over the next one to two years and says while investors are still buying properties in Whanganui they are also purchasing strongly in other regions.

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"Affordable price points and strong rental returns have caught the eye of investors, with the buyer group significantly more active in the region than two years ago.

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"However, they are also very active in other areas like Palmerston North and Tauranga."

The Whanganui suburbs that have enjoyed the biggest house price rises include Castlecliff (up 30.3 per cent year on year), Whanganui Central (up 28.9 per cent) and Gonville (up 27.5 per cent) - all of which have median values of less than $260,000, with Castlecliff the cheapest place to find a house in Whanganui.

Total dollar value of sales (last 12 months)

$323,749,440

How much you can expect to pay in ...

Whanganui - $295,000 (up 22.9%)

Manawatu - $405,000 (up 15.7%)

Palmerston North - $430,000 (up 14.7%)

Where property prices are rising fast

Castlecliff | Median value $215,000 | annual change +30.3%

Whanganui Central | Median value $245,000 | annual change +28.9%

Gonville | Median value $255,000 | annual change +27.5%

Where property prices are rising at a slower pace

Marybank | Median value $370,000 | annual change +14%

Saint Johns Hill | Median value $430,000 | annual change +15%

Westmere | Median value $620,000 | annual change +16%

Rich-listers: Whanganui's most expensive suburbs

Brunswick | Median value $665,000 | annual change +17%

Westmere | Median value $620,000 | annual change +16%

Otamatea | Median value $585,000 | annual change +17%

Bargain-hunters: Whanganui's most affordable suburbs

Castlecliff | Median value $215,000 | annual change +30%

Whanganui Central | Median value $245,000 | annual change +29%

Gonville | Median value $255,000 | annual change +28%