The Worboys family - from left, Ned, Hugo, Ollie and Rachael. Photo: Kate Russell.

Giving up on Nelson’s housing market


The Nelson property market proved to be too hard of a nut to crack for one family and has pushed them out of the region.

Ned and Rachael Worboys uprooted their life in Wellington close to family and moved to Nelson in January last year, in hope of being able to buy their first home to raise their two young sons.

After more than a year of open homing and consistently being priced out, they made the “very difficult” decision to give up on their dream and head to the Wairarapa.

“We ended up having to move from Nelson. The way the market went, and the way houses were being sold, meant we weren’t going to be able to buy even if we waited a few years,” says Rachael.

Instead, the couple moved to the Wairarapa and say they easily secured twice the home and twice the land.

“It’s not Nelson, but we have a lovely home and some money left over to make it ours.”

Rachael says their experience of open homes in the Wairarapa, of which they had attended at least a dozen, was much better, with owners giving a fair idea of what they wanted, making it a much less stressful experience.

Latest QV figures show that in March 2019 the average home value in Nelson City was $616,634 compared with $566,052 at the same time last year – an 8.9 per cent jump.

In South Wairarapa the average house is $514,326 vs $482,212 last year – a 6.7 per cent jump. In Masterton it was $377,865 vs $336,613 last year – a 12.3 per cent jump.

QV Nelson property consultant, Craig Russell, says that local demand is likely to be further fuelled over winter by the Reserve Bank’s indication that the cash rate may be cut, which will keep interest rates low.

“Poorer quality investment properties with deferred maintenance are coming available for sale as experienced investors’ dispose of these properties due to weaker yields, upcoming healthy home compliance costs, and lack of perceived capital gain going forward.

“Listings have been strong, with values continuing to increase in recent months particularly for entry level stock.”

Senior licensed sales consultant for Bayleys Real Estate, Kellie Todd, says some people are being priced out of the market, but she hasn’t personally experienced buyers not being able to purchase.

“People aren’t getting sick of it; well, they are, but they’re staying and they’re being proactive.

Kellie says properties that are under or around $500,000 have consistent enquiries and typically sell in three weeks, having multiple offers within the first week.

She agrees that everything is aligning to create more competition for buyers.

A recently-listed Stoke home had 60 people through the first open home which Kellie says shows that there’s still strong interest and “a lot of competition”.

“Three of those were families who are trying to relocate from other parts of the country.”