Who wants to live in Eketāhuna? Many people apparently
The weather isn’t great and it’s miles from all the major centers, but there is a thriving community on the rise.
Eketāhuna, like Timbuktu, has a name that conjures up images of isolation and small town clichés, but the small northern center of Wairarapa has its attractions.
It has become so popular in recent years that properties are dwindling, the number of schools is climbing and shops are popping up on its main street.
As in the rest of the country, house prices have risen, but starting from a very low base, Eketāhuna is one of the few places that still attracts first-time homebuyers.
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Located in the southernmost part of Tararua District, Eketāhuna is about a half hour drive north of Masterton and 15 minutes south of Pahiatua.
Linda Osborne sold her modest-sized three-bedroom house in Waikanae three months ago and purchased a large five-bedroom house with over a hectare of land in Eketāhuna.
“I came here because I come from a very small rural community and naturally feel comfortable here. “
A single mother of five children, most of whom have grown up and left the nest, she was eager to organize an Eketāhuna Christmas for the great whānau.
“The community here is just great. They got us involved in so many things, from Santa’s cruise to Christmas carols. “
Property Brokers realtor Patrick Baker said the market was driven by first-time homebuyers from Masterton looking for something affordable or people pursuing the country lifestyle.
When Baker started selling sections to Eketāhuna four years ago, a one acre block cost around $ 20,000 – now they sell for four to five times that amount.
“It changed the dynamics of Eketāhuna. Personally, I think the whole housing aspect has been really successful for Eketāhuna.
Samantha Ifill opened a Tabu sex shop on Main Street three years ago, which continued to do good business, both in-store and online.
“I like it here and in a few years you can see that a lot has changed. The community atmosphere is incredible. They have been really supportive. “
It was rumored that two or three more stores could open soon – an outdoor recreation-type store and a bicycle store are behind the scenes, as well as a possible pizzeria.
The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) said the median residential property price for the year ending November 2020 was $ 300,000, an increase of almost 90% from the previous year.
Eketāhuna school principal Melinda Cowe said the number of students at the school has increased by around 20% in recent years.
“It’s a charming, charming city. The community itself felt quite rejuvenated and revitalized.
The number has increased from 109 in 2018 to 132 this year and the school now has another teacher.
The whole region is expected to experience growth, especially with the replacement of the new Manawatū Gorge road.
“Rental properties are like gold dust here right now because people are buying the houses. “
The municipal swimming pool has recently undergone a $ 500,000 redevelopment and there is a new skatepark and playground nearby.
Shopkeeper and owner Sarah Dandy said people are optimistic about the changing nature of the city.
“There is nothing ‘local’ about it anymore, because we have so many more new people, which makes it a more vibrant city.”
The problem that potential newcomers faced was the lack of options.
“People often come here looking for houses, but there just aren’t any houses for sale.