Real estate listings have boomed in the wider region, but a leading agent in Whanganui says the market in the city is more static.
The listings website realestate.co.nz says the Manawatū-Whanganui market had 174.8 per cent more listings (1341) in April than the same month last year.
Those figures are for a wide area and are dominated by Manawatū which, as of Tuesday, made up nearly half of all listings in the region.
Bayleys Whanganui sales manager Michael Bourne said while the city of Whanganui had strong listing numbers, they had been largely static over the past couple of months.
He said there were 251 houses for sale in Whanganui as of Tuesday afternoon, whereas last year that figure was between 160 and 170.
The lift in listings was not leading to a "plummeting" of prices, Bourne said.
"Realistic vendors continue to move through.
"New listings come on and they go as well."
He said the "fear of missing out" (fomo) sentiment was gone, and labelled Whanganui a "balanced" market.
"It's hinging closer towards being a buyers' market. The sting has gone out of it."
Team Lewis Innovation licenced salesperson Mike Lewis said there were 45 listings in Marton on Tuesday, compared to 15 in September.
It was high, but there was not a flood of people rushing to sell, Lewis said. It was more that sales were taking much longer than they were last year.
"I would say it's probably because of the finance restrictions being put in place by the Government."
Lewis was referring to the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA) that came into force in December and made it harder for people to get home loans.
First-home buyers were less active in the market, Lewis said, and they typically set off the chain-buying reaction of house purchases.
Other pressures on buyers right now included interest rates increasing, Covid-19 pressures and the cost of living, Lewis said.
"They're selling, just taking a lot longer.
"We're having to be a lot more innovative and a lot more crafty with our selling techniques and the way we market properties."
Bayleys Ruapehu salesperson Jenny Dekker said the market had turned compared to last year.
"There is definitely less people inquiring on the new listings and they're very mindful of the price, if there is a price."
Potential buyers were expressing concerns about what could happen in the future if they bought now and if the market could drop.
"They're not going to be picking up the phone and rushing to make an offer."
However, Dekker said there were still buyers and a well-presented house had a good chance of selling.
Vendors did need to be flexible and avoid expecting the same prices they might have got last year, she said.
Listings for the Ruapehu area were about the same as last year, Bayleys Ruapehu office manager Michaela Palacio said.
But she said six months ago the number of houses for sale was as low as 12 or 13.
Valocity head of valuation James Wilson said his organisation was seeing more choice for buyers in the Manawatū-Whanganui market.
There was what he described as a "big pressing pause" among house movers, while investors were choosing to sit on the sidelines.
"We haven't seen that gap yet filled by another group," he said.
First-home buyers were getting better access to properties they might not have had a chance of buying last year.
Wilson said another variable at play was houses in the upper price bracket for the region were selling, meaning headline figures, such as average values, might be being propped up.
Wilson said his key message for people in the market was to take time to understand "what is going on under the hood".
"What type of market is it, who's active, what should I choose for a sales campaign."
OneRoof said the region was experiencing the same "market come-down" in lowered quarterly growth figures when it came to average values that was being seen across the country.
Of Whanganui's major suburbs, Springvale, Castlecliff, Whanganui Central and Whanganui East all recorded quarterly growth below 2 per cent.
Gonville was up 2.5 per cent, while Aramoho was up 3.2 per cent on the last quarter.