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Hamilton home sellers cautioned against ‘fast sale mentality’ as holidays approach

The average number of days to sell a home in Hamilton hit 25 in October.  This is the fastest average sale time in the city in five years. 

Additionally, Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) statistics released this morning report the Waikato region’s average ‘days to sell’ of 28 days is less than the 10-year average for October which is 36 days.

This startling ‘quick sale’ trend has prompted Lodge Real Estate managing director, Jeremy O’Rourke, to caution sellers to never aim for a fast sale. 

O’Rourke says while the days to sell are exaggerated as more homes are being sold off plans in the city, there are many sellers in Hamilton who are feeling extra urgency to sell quickly as the holidays approach.

“As Christmas barrels down, sellers want to get deals closed within the next few weeks. But a fast home sale is very rarely in the best interest of the seller.  If you hear a homeowner boasting that they sold their home in record time, or sold it before it was even listed on the market, you can pretty much guarantee they didn’t receive the best price.

“Certainly never trust an agent who wants you to take the first good offer. The first interested buyer is rarely, if ever, the buyer with the best price.  Settling too quickly can potentially see sellers forfeit tens of thousands of dollars,” says O’Rourke.

He says many sellers can be blinded by the fact that Hamilton homes continue to sell for record prices significantly over their rateable values and appraisals.  According to REINZ, Hamilton’s median for October was $673,000.

“When sellers see the market moving upward so quickly, the temptation is to take the first offer that meets expectations.  But in this frenzied market, an experienced agent will get their clients an offer well above expectations. 

“Sellers who are patient and trust a skilled agent to use proven strategies to get buyers in competition will achieve the best financial return on their property investment,” says O’Rourke. 

He says sale prices for Hamilton homes are likely to increase even further.

“Demand for homes in Hamilton is at a record high, yet stocks are low.  Plus, the number of new listings will decrease as it always does during December and January which puts more pressure on prices.

“Additionally there’s a wave of Kiwis returning home and looking to move into the regions.  Many will enter Hamilton’s housing market in coming months, creating more severe housing shortages.  This means there’s a whole new wave of price pressure coming,” predicts O’Rourke.

He says sale prices are unlikely to level off during the first half of 2021.

“There just aren’t enough houses in Hamilton – that’s the key issue.  The construction industry can not build houses as fast as our city’s population is rising.  Interest rates will remain low next year which will fuel asset prices. There’s not going to be a let up anytime soon.”

He says renters are also feeling a major pinch in Hamilton.

“Over the past eight years, Hamilton rents have increased by an average of 50%.  While landlords have been relaxed about rent rises in recent years, most are now actively looking at how they raise rates to align to market demand.”