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Hamilton real estate industry experiencing severe shortage of housing stock

Lodge Real Estate’s managing director Jeremy O’Rourke, says that while activity in the housing market continues to flourish, the industry is being held back by a shortage of new listings and rental stock.

“We continue to see multiple offers on properties, and filled an entire auction room of 60 people this week with buyers for just one property, followed by eight other busy auctions.

“This extreme buyer competition is keeping prices steady and strong, with first home buyers active and investors looking for high quality properties to add to their portfolios.

“However, we currently don’t have the listings to meet this strong demand, setting up a great opportunity for sellers to take advantage.”

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) released residential market statistics today showing Hamilton’s median house price eased slightly during July, settling at $636,000, which is down from $656,000 in June 2020 but up from $590,000 in July 2019.

July sales were up slightly from 278 in June, with 318 house sales during the month across Hamilton city as compared to 287 one year ago.

O’Rourke says that the story of extremely low stock is the same for the rental market, with enquiries and applications for properties far outweighing the number of available properties.

“Last week, our rentals team received 798 enquiries but only had 38 properties available to rent.  The previous week was nearly identical with 800 enquiries and only 40 rental properties available to rent across Hamilton.”

Lodge City Rentals manages a total of 3200 rental properties in Hamilton.

“While we always look to match the best, most appropriate tenant with each rental property to provide long-term security for our landlord clients, these numbers show the increasing number of renters and families looking for a place to live.  The vast majority are left disappointed with few if any alternatives.”

While there could be many reasons for sellers’ hesitancy to list their properties for sale, O’Rourke notes that there is currently the double distraction of both Covid-19 and the upcoming national elections.

“These events can serve to distract people from their property goals, so the focus is not on making highly-involved decisions like buying and selling a house. However, once events like the elections pass, regardless of the Government elected the housing market always tends to pick up where it left off.

“If we have a housing shortage now, we will continue to have a housing shortage post-election.”

Following this week’s change in Covid-19 alert levels, Lodge have re-implemented their Level 2 precautionary procedures and are looking out for client and buyer wellbeing, as well as their staff.

“At our auctions this past Wednesday, we staggered each auction to maintain social distancing, and asked attendees to enter and exit through different doors to reduce congestion. At next week’s auctions we will also look to have masks on offer.

“We will also be limiting the numbers attending open homes from this weekend.  Numbers will depend on the property size.  Buyers can be assured they will be able to view homes this weekend without coming into close contact with others.”