House prices: The South Island town with a $175k family home on the market

A West Coast family home currently on the market for $175,000 is defying New Zealand's high house price trends.

The single-storey four-bedroom, one-bathroom property in Westport boasts a modernised kitchen and open plan living area that's heated by a multi-burner fire - an inexpensive find compared to homes in the area.

The average asking price for houses on the West Coast is $333,748, which is the lowest out of all regions in New Zealand, according to the latest property report from that was released in December.

Marchelle Dann, who is the agent selling the Westport home, says while this particular house has a lower price because there's some work needed to fix it up, the coastal town is drawing attention from people around the country.

"I think it is the cost of living that attracts people to Westport, and, really, for us it would be people downsizing, cashing up in big cities, and then moving to Westport for a lifestyle change," she told Newshub.

"Why people would be buying here would purely be the cost of living."

She says 90-95 percent of her clients are people from out of town looking for something new.

"Things have changed in Westport. Even in recent years with the development of the coastal trails and everything like that is just making it more attractive to everyone."

Dann, who moved back to Westport in recent years, says she can relate to why people move from cities. 

"They're cashing up knowing that they can work from home and change their lifestyle and buy mortgage-free and have money in the bank."

House prices: The South Island town with a $175k family home on the market
Photo credit: Getty Images

According to's figures, the national average asking price for properties skyrocketed over the year prior as housing stock fell to record lows in almost every region.

The Central North Island region hit a new all-time high in December at $685,044, up a massive 20.7 percent compared to November and a huge 38.8 percent in comparison to December 2019. The Bay of Plenty also reached a record high, up 8.1 percent year-on-year to $780,475.

But the company's spokesperson, Vanessa Taylor, said earlier in January that although these prices might be welcome news for sellers, it may not be time to celebrate just yet.

"We saw a significant number of high-end and large lifestyle properties come onto the market in the Central North Island during December, which has pushed the average asking price up," she said.

At the end of December, New Zealand had just 12,932 properties available for purchase, down 29.1 percent compared with the same time in 2019 - a 13-year record low.

Stock was at record lows in 16 of 19 regions, with only Auckland, Gisborne, and Central Otago/Lakes not hitting their lowest stock levels. 

Wairarapa, Coromandel, and Nelson & Bays had the lowest stock compared to 2019, down by  58.5 percent, 50.3 percent, and 49.2 percent respectively. 

"The stock shortage will likely continue to prove challenging for buyers at the beginning of 2021," Taylor said. 

"This is a long-term factor impacting the New Zealand market and the number of Kiwis returning from overseas, combined with low mortgage rates and lack of international travel, are only adding to the demand for property."