Property sales up

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A real estate agent believes the North Otago market is the strongest it has been in a decade.
There were 59 residential property sales in North Otago in March, up from 38 in March 2015 and 48 in February this year, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand reported.
However, median property prices have dropped in the last 12 months, from $215,000 last March to $212,000 this March.
LJ Hooker Oamaru principal Stephen Robertson said March was a strong month for residential sales, and believed the market was the strongest he had seen in a decade.
“What we’ve seen is we’ve moved from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market. We’re seeing days on market drastically reduce. We’re averaging probably 80-odd days on market, but some do sell in two or three weeks.”He said one factor that had directly affected the local market was that young people, with the help of KiwiSaver, were able to save enough to put a deposit of at least 10% on properties in the $300,000 bracket.
Those selling properties in that price bracket were “moving up” to a higher one, Mr Robertson said.
Another area that had attracted buyer interest were lower-priced homes that had the potential to be rented out.
Mr Robertson said it was a sound area to invest in at the moment and could provide solid capital returns but said there was pressure on stock.
Southern Wide Real Estate residential and lifestyle sales manager Heather Burgher described the market as “extremely active”, and said there was a shortage of properties in North Otago for first-time buyers or those looking to buy in the mid-$200,000 range.
It was not just locals keen to buy, either, she said.
“There are quite a few interested people coming in from Auckland, Christchurch, Timaru and Invercargill. There have been quite a few multi-offers presented on properties too.
“I think people have realised Oamaru has become a destination and a good lifestyle place to live. Oamaru is a fantastic place to bring up a family and it has different things for different people to do.”