Published on: 2019-05-16

Hamilton’s knowledge sector strengthens housing market

Hamilton’s knowledge sector strengthens housing market

Lodge Real Estate Managing Director Jeremy O’Rourke sums up Hamilton’s strong housing market with one statement, “Hamilton just keeps on going.”

He says, “In January Hamilton experienced a record median house price and March wasn’t far behind.  Historically April sales normally pull back a bit, but not this April.  Sales are still very strong and prices are buoyant.

“Now, with the lower OCR and bank interest rates following suit, we are seeing increased interest from homeowners seizing the opportunity to move into new properties.  It’s a buoyant market at every price-point, from first home buyers to those looking at million-dollar-plus options.”

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) released its statistics for April 2019 today (note: 14 May).  Hamilton’s median for April was $569,000 which is down only slightly from $575,000 in March 2019.

The strength of Hamilton’s housing market is a direct correlation to the strength of the city’s quaternary, or knowledge, sector.

“Compared to ten to fifteen years ago, Hamilton’s knowledge economy is booming.  Our IT sector is particularly strong, while high-tech service sectors are thriving. In fact around forty percent of the city’s workforce is now employed in the knowledge sector.

“These staff are generally well paid, and that means they are looking for homes in the upper end of our market.  Growth in this part of the city’s job market is a key factor that is driving Hamilton’s median house price upward and keeping sales numbers up,” he says.

Eighteen homes with a $1 million selling price or higher were sold in Hamilton during March 2019, representing 6% of total sales. This upper part of the market is growing; during 2018 property sales over $1 million averaged only 3.4% of total sales each month.

Mr O’Rourke says, at the same time, young Aucklanders are moving to Hamilton because they can afford to buy their first home here.

“Every week we’re meeting young Aucklanders who are choosing to move to Hamilton because they can afford to get into their first home.  And, the added advantage of moving to Hamilton is they can find a great job that fits with their career ambitions,” says O’Rourke.

O’Rourke said competition is strong in the first-home price bracket. “Recently we had thirteen tenders on a $460,000 property.”

267 homes were sold in Hamilton during April, which is virtually on par with the 278 sold in March 2019 and up on 230 in April 2018.

For the latest REINZ market data for Hamilton, visit www.reinz.co.nz.