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Buoyant Hamilton rental market bucks nationwide oversupply trend

Hamilton’s rental property market continues to be strong, despite evidence of the rental oversupply reported in other major New Zealand cities, says the general manager of Hamilton’s largest property management company.

Jason Waugh says Lodge City Rentals had just 48 empty homes on its books available for rent in June.

“With demand growing for rental housing in the city, it’s still challenging for potential tenants to secure a two or three bedroom property.

“While our June statistics cooled slightly, the figures reflect a normal winter period and overall demand continues to remain steady. We received 2,645 enquiries over June from people looking for rental properties.

“We have definitely not seen evidence that the market has swung to a ‘tenant’s market,’ as has been widely reported,” says Waugh. “The outlook for property owners is still extremely positive.”

Of the 48 empty properties on Lodge’s books, 31 of them were studio rooms, many of them one bedroom.

Waugh says the studio room segment of the market was traditionally used by students. With only small numbers of international students returning to New Zealand so far, these types of properties remain available.

June saw one third (31%) of all tenants leasing Lodge-managed properties moving to Hamilton from out of town. This was up from 24% in May and 27% in April.

“The Hamilton City Council’s economic data shows Hamilton is outstripping New Zealand’s other metro cities in terms of economic and population growth rate, with the City’s GDP increasing by 4.3% since 2019.

“This is also reflected in our own data, which shows growing numbers of people are relocating to Hamilton City for jobs or a change in lifestyle. Many are choosing to rent in the first instance rather than buy. But there are currently not enough larger houses to go around for those looking to rent,” says Waugh.

While these statistics are great for Hamilton as a city, Waugh says it is creating the “the perfect storm.”

“I can’t see demand for rental properties in Hamilton easing anytime soon, which is good news for property owners and for our City.”