The cheapest house in NZ: Two-bed home listed for just $89,000

Halfway along State Highway 3, between Hāwera and Whanganui, lies Waverley, one of South Taranaki District’s southernmost towns.

If Schitt’s Creek is the comfort television show you’d most like to model your life after, now is the time.

This 1940s timber house positioned on the edge of town is for sale with inquiries over $89,000 - less than what many Kiwis in bigger cities now have to save for a deposit.

This sunny cottage is the cheapest house on the national market right now, according to realestate.co.nz, (excluding houses for removal, and a few leasehold apartments).

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Admittedly, it needs some work. OK, a lot of work. The 70-square-metre house comes 'as is where is’, with no fixed chattels, but it has a shed out the back and sits on 665-square-metres of land.

“If you have the time, the inclination, and the stamina, you will benefit from this project,” says Harcourts listing agent Lisa Ratahi.

The property was last sold in February 1981 for $12,000, according to homes.co.nz, which estimated its current value around $160,000. It was given an RV of $61,000 three years ago.

“This is cheap - even for Waverley, where the median HomesEstimate is $261K,” said Homes chief data scientist Tom Lintern.

Waverley has a population of less than one thousand and according to local council, a quick detour off the main road will bring you to Waverley Beach, "renowned for its interesting rock stacks and caves and where the fishing and offshore reef diving offers some of the best in New Zealand”.

Just five minutes from town and your new abode, you can walk along the beaches and clifftops, water ski, kayak or swim at Lupton’s Lake, or you could check out these other south Taranaki gems.

The cheapest house in NZ: Two-bed home listed for just ,000

And although growing from a small base, the median HomesEstimate in the town has increased 40.7 per cent in the last 12 months, said Lintern.

The median house sale price in Waverley was $220,000 in September 2020, and increased 25 per cent year-on-year to $275,000 this month, according to the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ).

“Built in the 1940s of solid timbers and boasting a concrete tiled roof, this compact two-bedroom home with a spacious separate lounge is North facing – enjoying all day sun,” says the listing.

However the property “needs a complete restoration to bring it back to its former self”.

“It’s actually not that uncommon for opportunities like this to come onto the market,” said Vanessa Williams, spokesperson for realestate.co.nz. “There’s not a large volume of them, but they do come up consistently.

“But I must say, this is a remarkably low price for a two-bedroom house in South Taranaki. Other properties sold and recently in the area range between $252,000 – $457,000. There’s even an empty section on the market starting at $150,000.”

House prices in Taranaki hit an unprecendented high earlier this year.

”It’s the highest it’s ever been,” the region’s Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) ambassador Garry Malcolm said of the unprecedented $520,000 median in February.

“That’s not normal. That’s absolutely not normal.”

The pressing issue was the shortage of stock, he said.

Houses are also spending longer on the market – up 18 days from 24 in September 2020 to 42 in September 2021, according to REINZ.

“This house is in a price bracket that will attract attention, so be quick to secure and transform,” concludes Ratah in the listing.

Williams said the listing shows that there’s still opportunity to be found in the housing market:

“It just depends what you want that opportunity to look like. For someone that’s looking for a project in an area outside of a big city, a home with a lower price tag that needs some love could be the perfect solution.”