Manawatu-Wanganui homes continue to become less affordable – report

by Roxanne Libatique16 Aug 2019

Houses in Manawatū-Whanganui continue to become less affordable, according to Massey University’s quarterly report.

The university’s latest Home Affordability Report found a 1.2% decline in affordability in the Manawatū-Whanganui region over the past 12 months as house prices continue to rise rapidly – outstripping improvements in average household income and lower mortgage interest rates.

However, the region still remains among the most affordable in the country as its house prices are 38% more affordable than the national average.

“Everything else is good, it's just [the region's] house prices and that's simple supply and demand. There's a big shortage of houses, so you're seeing these big increases in house prices,” David White, senior tutor at Massey University and author of the report, told Stuff.co.nz.

Read more: Investors are reasserting themselves in the property market

The average Manawatū-Whanganui house price was $349,000 in March – the start of the three-month period that Massey University covered for its quarterly report.

White explained that even though the house prices were slightly less affordable than they were a year ago, they still actually became 7.6% more affordable over the three months before June.

However, he said it was difficult to predict what would happen in the long term.

“We've had two [financial] quarters that have been positive for affordability ... and we are going into the winter, where we do see a drop in median sale prices almost every year,” said White.

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