Real estate sales on the rise in Riverton

Brook Sabin/Stuff

Riverton house prices have taken off in the past few years, which some are putting down to the Covid-19 international travel restrictions.

In the last few years, the demand for residential real estate in the Riverton Aparima area has been soaring and everyone seems to want a piece of the “Riviera of the South”.

Kennedy Building managing director Will Kennedy said while the demand for builds had been on the rise, the price of raw materials was also rising.

“The supply and demand for raw materials in building has become an issue. It’s just getting dearer and dearer.

“We get prices for increases emailed to us fortnightly, and if it keeps happening like that, then it’s definitely not sustainable,” Kennedy said.

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He had really noticed a rise in demand in the area in the last three years or so.

When Kennedy first moved to the area about 11 years ago, he recalled there being more than 130 houses available and some pieces of land.

“Now there might be 30.”

Todd & Co Realty residential and lifestyle sales agent Diane Wilson said her buyers ranged from all across the board, from expatriates and rural Southlanders, to Kiwis from across from the islands.

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“There’s a variety of reasons why people are coming, apart from a lifestyle change, which has created this need to have more housing.”

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Riverton resident Peter Templeton moved to the area about 30 years ago, and said back in those days it was very hard to get people interested in buying property in the area.

Depending on what and where the properties were, they usually got snapped up pretty quick, Wilson said.

According to Wilson, Todd & Co Realty data showed that the current prices of real estate in Riverton had a 147 per cent increase in prices compared to five years ago.

The current median sale price is $565k.

Wilson had also noticed rise in sales in Orepuki, about 20 minutes north-east of Riverton.

Southland district mayor Gary Tong has lived in Riverton for the last five years, and believed the availability of land and houses had not reached its peak.

“There’s certainly a number of options available to people out here, either to purchase existing cottages or homes, to purchasing land and creating their own building on it.”

A reason for the rise in sales could be due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions, he said.

“A lot of people aren’t able to go on holiday, so they’re looking at re-investing in properties.”

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What would be holding up a lot of the builds was the delay in materials, Tong said.

Riverton resident Peter Templeton moved to the area about 30 years ago, and said back in those days it was very hard to get people interested in buying property in the area.

“You could buy a three-bedroom house [for] around $50k,” he said.

Templeton also thought Covid-19 had amplified the interest in Riverton.

“I think with Covid-19, people have realised you can be in all these flash places in the world but if you’re in lockdown, you got to have something to do.

“Whereas in Riverton, there’s a lot of beach walks, you can go over to the Mores [Scenic] Reserve, you’ve got surfing out towards Colac Bay, you’ve got fishing and kayaking and I think that’s a catalyst for wanting houses in Riverton.”

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