Published on: 2018-03-02

Strong start to the year for Hamilton residential property market

Strong start to the year for Hamilton residential property market

Lodge Real Estate’s managing director Jeremy O’Rourke says Hamilton’s residential property market experienced one of the strongest Januaries in recent years.

The Real Estate Institute of NZ released its residential property data this morning [note: 15 February] showing there were 156 homes sold in Hamilton during the month.  This compares to 141 sold during January 2017, 201 during January 2016 and 185 during January 2015.

 “With the exception of 2016, this January has been one of the strongest starts to a year for Hamilton city.  The city has experienced higher buyer activity than we normally see during a typical January.  Plus, we’ve also had a good number of quality homes being listed on the market during the month.  Those listings continued to be strong into February.

“While some other city centres are seeing a dip in buyer activity, Hamilton remains a buoyant market.  There’s a lot of confidence in the city’s economy, buyers are seeing value in residential property and there continues to be strong enquiry from people outside the region who are attracted to Hamilton’s lifestyle,” says O’Rourke.

Hamilton’s median house price for January 2018 fell to $500,000 from $565,000 in December 2017.  Mr O’Rourke says, “Despite the dip in median since December, we do expect to see Hamilton’s median house price to rise steadily throughout the year.

“While our market gains have historically lagged behind Auckland and Tauranga, currently buyers have more confidence in Hamilton as compared to those two competitive markets.”

Mr O’Rourke says Hamilton’s rental market continues to be very tight and unlikely to change this year.

“Residential property investors are currently a net-seller group.  Due to a range of factors, they aren’t in the market in force like they were a few years ago.  They are off-loading more rental properties than they are buying.

“Meanwhile the demand for rentals is very high.  For instance, our property management group has less than a 1% vacant rate and only 140 properties turning over in the next 40 days.  I wouldn’t say Hamilton’s rental market has entered a dire situation, but it is incredibly tough to find a quality rental.

“It’s not so much students - who are a big rental group in the city – who will be affected by this squeeze, but rather families looking for three- to four-bedroom homes.”

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