The real estate market is right in the thick of what is usually the busiest month of the year. And while there is heightened interest in Hamilton properties, buyers lack a sense of urgency.
While March historically sees the highest house sales volumes of any month during in the year, Lodge Real Estate Managing Director Jeremy O’Rourke says, “It’s an enthusiastic market but lacking in any urgency. And that all comes down to fear and apprehension.
“People are still wondering if we’re at the bottom of the market, in terms of house prices. We’ve seen some major price reductions since around October 2022, but prices do seem to have levelled off,” says Jeremy.
REINZ figures nationally show the median house price has fallen from $825,000 in October last year to just over $760,000 in January.
“Our team is picking that prices have levelled off now around that $760,000 to $780,000 mark. We predict any further major price reductions are unlikely for the city,” says Jeremy.
He says there is a lot of interest in Hamilton properties, particularly from outside the region. The majority of Lodge’s website traffic is currently coming from Auckland. Lodge City Rentals had also seen an uptick in enquiries from outside Hamilton, primarily from Auckland.
“In 2022, fifty-one percent (51%) of our website visitors were from Hamilton and Auckland was our second biggest market. Now it’s flipped and 35 percent of our website visitors are from Auckland and only 28 percent from Hamilton.”
“I think Hamilton’s visibility as a great place to raise a family and achieve lifestyle balance is really growing. Plus we are somewhat sheltered from the effects of natural disasters, which are on Aucklanders’ minds at the moment. Hamilton’s easy-living benefits and other regions’ challenges are combining to drive interest from outside the city,” says Jeremy.
The number of listed properties in Hamilton was sitting around 931 and although open homes were busy with increasing attendance rates, buyers weren’t moving quickly to purchase.
“There is still some fear in the market with rising interest rates and inflationary pressure and a sense that the market hasn’t reached the bottom yet so buyers are waiting it out, but, as we’ve seen in the past, that can all change very quickly,” says Jeremy.
Recent sales, including a large parcel of land at Horotiu that sold to a developer for $8.3 million (plus GST) suggested developers were starting to become active again, seeing the downturn as short lived.
“We’re heading into the busiest time of year and there is a lot of activity and interest and as we see interest rates start to flatten and unemployment remain steady these inquiries from out of town will start to act,” says Jeremy.