Whanganui property sales have slowed slightly in the past three months, the latest OneRoof Property report shows.
The total dollar value of Whanganui property sales for the most recent quarter is $330,181,377.
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said while first-home buyers dominated sales during the last quarter, there had been more purchases by investors during the past three months.
"Whanganui is still far more affordable than other centres but prices have gone up which makes it harder for first home buyers to raise the deposit they need," he said.
"There is good and bad news - existing homeowners are seeing an increase in their property values but it is bad news for first home buyers and renters."
While sales may have eased off slightly, Whanganui continues to experience strong value growth, with quarterly growth of 3.4 per cent and annual growth of 17.3 per cent raising the median value to $305,000.
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Vaughan says it is worth noting the rate of growth had stalled since the last quarter.
"As discussed last year, it is important to put such percentages in context, the median value for the area is $305,000 which has increased from a low base of $160,000 five years ago.
"Therefore the region is considered very affordable when compared with many of New Zealand's other centres."
The relative affordability continues to appeal to first-home buyers able to raise deposits.
They represented 23.9 per cent of new mortgage registrations while investors represented 24.11 per cent.
Vaughan said it was also worth noting the fact the share of mortgage registrations to investors continues to increase rapidly (up 6 per cent annually) whilst that to first-home buyer representation continues to decline (down 15.8 per cent).
"This is considered a result of the fact that local first home buyers are now finding some locations within Whanganui above their reach, whilst investors are able to call upon equity built up in other markets to enter the comparatively more affordable Whanganui market," Vaughan said.
The biggest sale in Whanganui during the past three months was a property in Longbeach Drive, Castlecliff, which sold for $950,000.
It was followed by a College Estate property which sold for $905,000 and another in Roberts Ave, Aramoho, which sold for $765,000.
Vaughan said it was worth considering what similar properties in other locations were selling for.
"A property like the Longbeach Drive one would sell for upwards of $1 million in Hawke's Bay and probably several million in Auckland."
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A house similar to the Longbeach Drive property recently sold in Waimarama, Hawke's Bay, for $1.6 million and another similar property in Takapuna, Auckland, sold for $9 million.
"Although the $950,000 price tag is high for Whanganui, it is still affordable compared with other parts of the country."
He said the softening in the rates of growth of sales in Whanganui was expected to continue throughout 2020.
Whanganui by the numbers
• Seven Whanganui suburbs have median property values of more than $500,000.
• Thirteen suburbs with median values of less than $500,000.
Hot suburbs where property prices are rising
Median values: Marybank $445,000, Durie Hill $360,000, Bastia Hill $395,000, Whanganui East $285,000, Castlecliff $230,000.
Suburbs where prices are cooling off
Median values: Otamatea $585,000, Brunswick $647,500, St John's Hill $445,000, Springvale $375,000, Kai Iwi $530,000.
Most expensive suburbs
Median values: Brunswick $647,500, Westmere $647,500, Kaitoke $627,500, Otamatea $585,000, Fordell $560,000.
Most affordable suburbs
Median values: Castlecliff $230,000, Whanganui Central $250,000, Gonville $260,000,
Aramoho $270,000, Whanganui East $285,000.
The median property value of $305,000 for Whanganui represents a quarterly increase of 3.4 per cent. The median value for Palmerston North properties is up 2.3 per cent to $445,000 and Manawatū had the biggest quarterly change with a median value of $420,000 representing an increase of 3.7 per cent.