The number of people attending Lodge Real Estate open homes in Hamilton jumped 35 percent in August, signaling the real estate market is waking up as first home buyers access finance and gain confidence.
Lodge Real Estate Managing Director Jeremy O’Rourke says people have come to terms with the Reserve Bank Official Cash Rate increases and have more confidence in where the Hamilton market is heading.
Moves allowing more lending to first home buyers with a low equity five percent deposit were also flowing through, adding renewed vigour to the market.
“The market is waking up. People have watched the Reserve Bank’s moves and the media coverage alongside that over the last few months. Initially, these events caused buyers to pull back and wait, but we are seeing they have come to terms with the changes and are re-entering the market in force.
“House prices levelled off a few months ago and are remaining steady now, which is also attractive to that first-home-buyer segment.
“During the last few weeks, Lodge Real Estate sold as many properties as we listed which is an additional sign that activity in the market is beginning to translate into sales,” says Jeremy.
The most recent figures from the Real Estate Institute of NZ report Hamilton’s median house price is sitting at $785,000, which is the same as August 2021.
“First home buyers are seeing the value that’s on offer in the Hamilton market. The most active sector of the local market is that $600,000 to $800,000 price bracket,” says Jeremy.
Listings in the city were sitting around 1050 houses which had not fluctuated greatly over the winter months suggesting homes were still selling and listed properties were not sitting on the market too long. In Hamilton, it’s currently averaging 51 days to sell a home.
“Around 85 percent of home sales at Lodge are families looking to buy again in Hamilton or the outskirts of the city. We are also seeing more buyers who recently moved to Hamilton and chosen to rent, now also seeking out properties to settle in as confidence returns,” says Jeremy.
He says as first home buyers get more active in the market, this generates activity across the board as sellers most often look to buy at a higher price bracket.
While the first day of spring came at the beginning of September, Jeremy says the market was likely to see the usual spring trend of an upward tick in sales from October when new spring listings normally come through.
Figures released from the REINZ on 13 September show, in total by all agents, 194 houses were sold in Hamilton during August. This is down year on year when compared to August 2021 where 223 houses sold.