Provinces coming into their own

Many of us have known for a long time how enjoyable living in the provinces can be. A few minutes pleasant commute to work, no traffic lights or parking meters (in Feilding), and a generally more relaxed pace of life. The people seem friendlier, and there are plenty of sporting, cultural  and community organisations to belong to at an affordable price. We certainly have good schools here too.

The biggest obstacle to growth for many Manawatu businesses is not being able to find good staff, so there are jobs here too for many, but not for everyone.

Housing is more affordable, but levels of value increase are actually higher in several of the provinces now than in the big cities. Every dog has his or her day! The rate of people leaving Auckland in particular is increasing, and now including younger as well as older residents. We are enjoying welcoming many new residents who have seen the light, to Feilding and the District. Here they enjoy a larger home and section at a far more affordable price. The more we grow, the more we spread the load in terms of costs such as rates, so it benefits everyone.


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What is the future of Feilding?

Will it grow or will it decline? It has done both in the past, but mainly Feilding has grown, and it is growing well at present, leading the region.

Feilding is four things, as a generalisation:

  1. An agri-business hub and rural servicing town.
  2. A country town alternative to living in Palmerston North.
  3. Home to more Ohakea Airbase personnel and their families than any other town or city.
  4. A really nice place to live, and raise a family.

The 4 main reasons are looking positive into the future.

Agri-business and farming will likely remain profitable.

Palmerston north is growing, with more jobs being established.

Ohakea Airbase is growing.

Feilding is being well planned and managed in order to remain a great place to live and raise a family.

The future looks bright. I expect Feilding to grow with a bright future.


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Population: Important to have growth.

In 1881 Feilding had a population of  about 1,000. By 1921 it was 4,500, 6,000 in 1951, 8,000 in 1961, 10,000 in 1971, 11,500 in 1981 and 14,043 in 1996. We can recognise the strong growth in the baby boom years, and subsequent.

From 1996 to 2001 Feilding’s population however dropped to 13,641. It lifted slightly to 13,890 in 2006 which was still below the 1996 population. It wasn’t until the 2013 census that the population rose to 14,826, which was well above the 1996 figure. A declining population is bad for business, bad for the economy and leads to less people having to pay for the services that a town requires, with large rises in rates as one consequence.

We currently have an estimated population of 16,600 – 16,800, which represents strong growth in recent years. The outlook for growth looks positive. Growth brings new challenges in having to pay for the new infrastructure required, but ultimately well managed growth is good for business and the economy, and leads to spreading the load for town services over more people with consequent lower rises in rates.


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Where is the ceiling?

I well remember a time when the top price for a house in Feilding was $200,000. People said that prices will never go higher, and you needed to think carefully about improvements to a property, in case you over capitalised.

Those days are well gone, and it is now very difficult to find a house property for under $200,000!

So where is the ceiling now? There aren’t a lot of sales over $750,000. I suspect that the right property could well fetch $1,500,000 today, and maybe more.

This means that most of us can add value to our homes without the same risk of over capitalisation.

If you are contemplating a significant improvement or addition, and want advice about the potential added value, feel free to contact me for no obligation free advice.


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Residential section prices in NZ

The cost of land is a major component of the cost of a house property. Below we can see the median section prices across the regions of NZ, with Auckland 630% higher than Southland, and 307% higher than Manawatu/Whanganui! The Manawatu/Whanganui region has Palmerston North at the high end and Whanganui/Rangitikei at the lower end. The composite figure would be reasonably close to the median section price for Feilding.

Northland                                           $210,000

Auckland                                              $475,000

Waikato/BOP                                       $277,500

Hawkes Bay                                         $188,500

Taranaki                                                $211,000

Manawatu/Whanganui                   $116,733

Wellington                                            $243,478

Nelson/Marlborough                       $189,000

Canterbury/Westland                      $200,000

Central Otago Lakes                          $273,000

Otago                                                    $136,000

Southland                                               $65,000


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Spring Clean

It is spring, so it’s time for a spring clean, especially if you are about to list your property for sale. I am happy to give you specific advice – just give me a call.

Here are a few things that should generally be included in your spring clean when selling:

  • Wash down exterior walls, windows and guttering.
  • Mow lawns, weed gardens, tidy the section.
  • Clean porches, decks, verandahs, patios and balconies.
  • Vacuum the floor and remove cobwebs and fly dirt.
  • Clean under and behind large pieces of furniture.
  • Dust and polish. Clean insides of windows.
  • For selling, de-clutter starting with photos and knick-knacks.
  • Store papers, sports equipment and treasure.

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Low number of houses for sale

Feilding has only a couple of dozen houses for sale at present. In my 40 years in the property business, this would be a record low. We often have in the region of 150 – 200 houses for sale across all agencies. I remember that at one time in a slow market, I had 300 houses for sale personally! The current situation is unusual and will change. We just don’t know when it will change. It has already changed in parts of New Zealand. 

What we do know is that it is the absolutely best time to sell right now. There are more buyers than houses for sale. Choose an Agent experienced at gaining the best price for you; not just a quick sale. Negotiating skill and the ability to have buyers competing fairly is what to look for in an Agent in this market. While auction isn’t for everyone, it does produce some outstanding results in this market where competition is virtually assured. When buyers are openly competing against each other, prices climb. 

Give me a call to discuss your property, the market, presentation, marketing, pricing, and a plan to get the best outcome for you.


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The power of attraction

We get three seconds to make a good first impression when we meet someone new. Part of the first impression is how we look. 

It is the same for buyers when they are searching for a home to buy. The look of the home is important, especially when making that first impression. These days the first impression will be the main photo in a newspaper advertisement, the first photo on a website advertisement, social media advertisement or window display, or perhaps the first view from the street.  

It is important to make a good first impression. Make more effort improving the look of the front fence, letterbox, front path and garden, front door and porch, than the rear of the section. As you enter the home, make sure that the entrance hall or lounge is inviting and looking neat and tidy. Other crucial areas for presentation are kitchen, bathroom and outdoor living areas.



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What jobs to do before selling?

This is an important question for house sellers to ask before proceeding with work that may not provide a return. I have seen so many people over the years focus on the wrong work, and end up out of pocket, because they didn’t seek good advice from someone with knowledge and experience. I am happy to provide you with free no obligation advice regarding what jobs are worth doing, and what jobs are not worth doing.

I see that my job is about making my Clients money. I do this by maximising the marketing reach, by advising on presentation to maximise price, and by clever cost effective promotion. My 40 years of negotiation skills are at my Clients’ disposal, and my knowledge of property through being a non practising Registered valuer can add value to the transaction, and avoid pitfalls. Some may have a slightly lower commission rate, but I recommend that Sellers focus on who will provide them with a better overall bottom line result. 

Just give me a call on 0275 424 707 if you would like advice on presentation for sale purposes, or which jobs will likely add value, and which jobs will not. If you would like two opinions, I will bring my business partner Tania Osborne with me.




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Feilding – one of New Zealand’s fastest selling suburbs

Feilding is in the national top 10, interestingly along with 4 suburbs in Palmerston North and one in Whanganui.  

Feilding residential  properties took an average of only 14 days to sell over the last 12 months according to OneRoof, the property site of NZME,  and Core Logic. 

The fast selling suburbs are mostly very affordable by national comparison. 

At the other end of the scale, houses in slower selling suburbs are taking about six months on average. 

This speed of sales and low stock is unprecented for decades, making it a great time to sell. The market will slow down, so list now while it is so good for selling.


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