The risk of money laundering and terrorism crime has prompted many changes around the world. But who would have thought that, in a roundabout way, it would affect house sales in Hamilton?
Lodge Real Estate Managing Director, Jeremy O’Rourke, says that’s exactly what happened last month.
“From January first, all New Zealand agents began complying with the AML - the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act.
“The additional paperwork now required has slightly lengthened the period of time between when people choose to sell a home through an agent and when the home is officially listed on the market.
“Statistics show a slower-than-usual start to the year because listings that would have normally come to market in January, rolled over into February. However, it should all normalise this month,” he explains.
Tracking of realestate.co.nz showed 227 homes were listed for sale in Hamilton during January. This is down 7% on listings during January 2018.
Additionally, statistics released this morning by Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) show the number of homes sold in the city during January – 151 – was down on 216 sold in December 2018 and 159 sold in January 2018.
The median for January was up from $559,000 in December 2018 to $579,000.
Mr O’Rourke says despite the hiccup in the market during January, it’s been an optimistic start to the new year.
“There are a lot of quality homes for sale in Hamilton at the moment. And there’s a lot of variety – from lifestyle properties on the outskirts of the city to new apartments on offer in the CBD.
“There’s been a high number of enquiries from buyers, too. There are a lot of investors looking to buy homes in Hamilton at the moment, while a high number of first home buyers are also looking for suitable properties in the city.
“There are fewer active buyers and sellers at the upper end of Hamilton’s residential market, but that is normal for this time of year. That portion of the market usually gains momentum during March,” O’Rourke says.
O’Rourke predicts the median sale price for Hamilton homes will rise during 2019.
“Hamilton’s housing market is buoyant and there’s a huge amount of optimism around the city. This should translate into a continual, gradual increase in the median over the course of the year.”
For the latest REINZ market data for Hamilton, visit www.reinz.co.nz.