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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 4, September 1965

On 20th January 1911 a large auction sale of sections within the Borough was held under the control of the Commissioner of Crown Lands in the Criterion Hall, Paeroa (approximately the site of the present Memorial Hall).

Prices varied from £7 for an 18 perch section in Wood Street to £100 for 36 perches on Normanby Road. A section of 19 perches where the Ministry of Works Office now stands was offered for £130. Conditions of sale were one-fifth on the fall of the hammer and balance within 30 days. Almost l60 sections were offered.

One of the sections offered for £20 at the 1911 sale changed hands again in 1960 for £800. A block of slightly over three-quarters of an acre near the lower end of Bennett St. was also offered for £20. Four houses now stand on this area and the land is valued at over £2,000.

The sections unsold in 1911 were again offered on similar conditions and prices in December l9l4.

In 1945 good sections could still be purchased for £150 and by 1955 the prices had increased to £300 to £350. Current prices for good sections in 1965 are in the vicinity of £600.

Building costs have shown an even more startling rise. In 1926 good dwellings were erected for £600 to £700. Similar construction in 1945 had reached £1500, in 1955 - £2800 to £3000 and in 1965 - £3500 to £3800, and even at that figure building costs are still considerably lower than in many other areas. Records of buildings are not available beyond 1925 but some notable buildings were erected as under –

Theatre Bldg, 1926 - £11,841.

G.W. Vercoe's Block 1937 - £4,000.

Barton, Dance & Marriot – 1935 - £ 1,998.

Bank of New Zealand – 1940 - £13,200.