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CLIENT NEWS: Hamilton house prices have found their mark

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand released their monthly residential property data today, showing Hamilton’s median house price dipped 2.3% between October and November and now sits at $555,000. 

Lodge Real Estate Managing Director, Jeremy O’Rourke, says, “Hamilton house prices have normalised and found their mark. 

“And we believe Hamilton residents looking to buy or sell at the start of the new year can expect the market will remain steady well into 2019. Buyers can expect steady to modest rises in house prices within most sectors of the market. 

“The exception is the upper end of the market. Hamilton homes selling at around $900,000 and above are seeing strong competition so we expect sale prices at the top end will continue to surprise.”

The number of homes sold in Hamilton rose 6% between October and November, moving from 299 sold last month to 317.

Mr O’Rourke says while clearance rates in the city’s auction rooms rates have been strong, buyer competition has weakened slightly. 

“While a few months ago we were having two to four bidders per home, we are now seeing one to two. This means skilled auctioneers are certainly earning their worth.”

Mr O’Rourke says that during the spring months, the city’s agents were experiencing some Hamilton sellers wanting to list homes at prices just above what buyers would bear – a phenomenon referred to as ‘vendor creep.’  

“Hamilton buyers have shown their hand, however. They simply are not looking at homes that are not priced right. Vendors have responded and, we head into summer, we are now seeing most homes in the city being listed at more realistic asking prices.”

For buyers looking for a new home in the city, there are more options than ever before.

“Apartment living in the city is in high demand. This is an option that wasn’t there a few years ago.  Parkhaven – one of the first purpose-built apartment blocks built in the city – settles in January with 19 of the 21 apartments already under contract. 

“A few blocks over on the corner of London and Tristram a new complex is underway with 52 apartments. And we’ll see more of this apartment and mixed-use living coming on the market in 2019. It means that new home options in Hamilton aren’t just found in Flagstaff and Rototuna – there’s a lot more to choose from,” says O’Rourke.

Anyone looking to sell a home after 1 January will see a change in the paperwork required to list, thanks to the real estate industry in New Zealand now having to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (or AML).

“The AML requires all real estate agents from 1 January to take steps to assess the risk faced from the actions of money launderers, from people who finance terrorism, and any suspicious activity carried out by those dealing with real estate firms.

“To comply, all real estate agents will need to verify the identity of all vendor clients to help ensure all transactions are legitimate,”  says O’Rourke.

From 1 January, sellers must provide their real estate agent with:

  1. Proof of identity and birth date, with passport, driver’s licence or birth certificate
  2. Proof of current address, with documents like bank statements or rates demands

Plus, if a family or corporate trust is involved in the transaction, agents require:

  1. A copy of the trust deed
  2. Proof of identity of all trustees

“No one is exempt from the AML laws. We realise this means a lot of extra paperwork, so we’re working hard to create new systems that make the process as easy as possible.”

For the latest Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) market data for Hamilton and Waikato, visit www.reinz.co.nz.