PHOTO: Lodge Real Estate Managing Director Jeremy O’Rourke
Real estate listings remain low in Hamilton, but local agents say the number of offers on available properties increased at the end of April showing renewed interest from buyers.
Lodge Real Estate Managing Director Jeremy O’Rourke says Hamilton emptied out at the start of April with school holidays and Easter but by Anzac Day, open home attendance improved and the number of offers on listed properties jumped upward.
“Multiple offer emails are coming in daily now, so we know there is heightened buyer interest and intent in the Hamilton market,” says Jeremy.
Interest continues to flow from Auckland as people look to make the move south, and with recent Australian immigration policy changes, Jeremy says agents were also seeing an increase in people looking to sell as they considered a move to Australia.
“Auckland-based people continue to account for about 40 percent of all our website traffic, and we assume those are people looking to buy. However on the sales side of the business, we are also seeing an emerging trend of people working with our agents to sell and move to Australia as that becomes an even more attractive option for Kiwis,” says Jeremy.
This follows Australia making changes to its immigration policy last month, providing New Zealanders a faster pathway to Australian citizenship.
Lodge Rentals reported last month an increase in accidental or unplanned landlords, with people alternatively choosing to rent out their property when relocating overseas, including to Australia, rather than sell and lose a foothold in the New Zealand market. “It is an interesting time in the market. All indications are the Reserve Bank isn’t too far away from the top of its rate increases and money is becoming easier to obtain with the lowering of loan to value ratios,” says Jeremy.
“Prices are coming back, and first home buyers continue to be active in the Hamilton market, bolstered by Kainga Ora’s recent announcement on First Home Grant caps. We’re seeing a ‘fear of missing out’ return, with buyers looking to purchase before prices potentially climb upwards once again.
“The indications are that May and June will be busy months for our team of agents,” says Jeremy.
Latest figures from CoreLogic show average national house values are 10.3 percent lower than the same month last year and $115,000 below their March 2022 peak.
The average national value was sitting at $928,656, but still approximately $200,000 higher than pre-COVID levels in March 2020. Hamilton figures show property listings for April were 273 compared with 315 during April 2022. The median house price for April was $742,500, 12% down year on year.