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Lifestyle blocks booming in Manawatū as buyers take advantage of affordable prices

The perfect balance in price is believed to be behind the surging popularity of lifestyle blocks in Manawatū.

REINZ statistics released in December showed Manawatū bucking the national trend by increasing the number of properties sold.

For the three months from September to November there were an additional 17 lifestyle properties sold compared to the same time in 2016.

That was compared with the national numbers where there was a 17 percent drop in sales during the same periods.

Prices in the region appeared to be balancing the fine line of being high enough to keep sellers happy, while being low enough to entice buyers to the region.

Rural and Lifestyle Sales manager Richard Anderson said he had noticed increased interest in lifestyle properties in the region over the past 15 months.

"There has been quite a few people migrate from the north coming down this way and even people coming up from the south into the Manawatū. We represent good value. It is good for the region."

REINZ Manawatū spokesman Andy Stewart said it was normal for lifestyle sales to lift after winter, but this year had seen increased action.

"Once spring got here everything picked up. We are finding the number of people viewing lifestyle properties far more intense than it was in the earlier months," he said.

"There is always a lift at this time of the year in people looking, but I think the volume and sale prices are showing a lift more than what we have seen in previous years."

A Whiskey Way, Aokautere property recently sold at auction with five interested parties and 24 bids.

It sold well beyond what the vendors were expecting.

"There are other properties where we have had multiple offers on lifestyle properties which is a little bit unusual," Stewart said.

He believed the price was the main factor for Manawatū bucking the national trend.

"Our property prices are still very affordable compared to other areas. That works for us in residential and lifestyle. I think we are punching well above our weight at the moment."

More than 7700 lifestyle properties were sold New Zealand-wide in 2017 up until the end of November.

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