It might be a tough housing market in some of the more populated areas of New Zealand, but down south in Bluff, it’s a different story.
A home in Bluff’s Palmers St was one of the three cheapest sold in New Zealand last year, for the grand total of $20,000.
Homeowner Robert Butler says he saw a real opportunity when the property came up for sale.
The 32-year-old property developer happily parted with $20,000 when the house hit the market.
“We’ve been doing it up on-and-off for about six months, it’s a bit of a project,” he says.
“It was a bit of a rough cast, with aluminium windows, but to be honest it was probably an undervalued property.”
Mr Butler says the property has recently been valued at $90,000.
But that price is well below the national average and Mr Butler says that Bluff in general is grossly undervalued.
“It’s a really nice place, it’s only 30km from Invercargill, it has a pub, it has the tourists,” he says.
The developer’s real estate agent, First National’s Dave Price, says that prices are on a downward trend in the area.
“There tends to be a fair bit of focus on how expensive houses can be, but people forget that there’s another end as well, where people can actually purchase pretty reasonably priced houses,” he says.
“But you do get what you pay for … the house was very, very run down and very, very untidy.”
While house markets are a critical point in many parts of the country, Bluff’s is one of the slowest in New Zealand.
“It’s a bit of supply and demand,” Mr Price says. “Very few houses are sold in Bluff, and because of that house prices are coming down.”
Two other homes sold for $20,000 last year: a quarter-acre dream in the small forestry town of Murupara and a small house in the northern town of Ohura.