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CLIENT NEWS: First home buyers fire up February home sales in Hamilton

Lodge Real Estate Managing Director Jeremy O’Rourke says first home buyers are fuelling a fire at the lower end of the Hamilton housing market, sparking a surge in February sales.

“First home buyers are extremely active in the city. Three-bedroom properties sitting around the $550,000 mark are often in a multi-offer situation. 

“There is a lot of stock on the market right now and first home buyers are keen to grab quality properties that set them in good stead as they start their home ownership journey,” he says.

Mr O’Rourke says with capital gains taxes and other compliance issues looming, residential property investors have pulled right out of the market. This phenomena leaves a gap where first home buyers can find some great opportunities.

“People who are renting now but contemplating buying have a window of opportunity now while investors are quiet. We suspect while investors are feeling a bit bruised by extra compliance coming into force and potential taxes coming down the line, they will surely get back in the market once rent rises become commonplace as a result of legislation. 

“So, first home buyers should act now – we’re seeing this current market situation as a calm before the storm when prices in that lower bracket will rise again,” says O’Rourke.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) released its statistics for February today (note: 13 March). Hamilton’s median is sitting at $540,500, which is up from $522,000 in February 2018. 

248 homes were sold in Hamilton during February, which is up from 153 in January and down on 291 in February 2018.

While first home owners are noticeably active, O’Rourke says there is good activity right through the full spectrum of the residential market.

“Quality homes over the million-dollar mark are moving quickly. At our auction last week, we had six homes sell for over one million. A total of 10 million-dollar homes were sold by the city’s agents during February.

“However, we are seeing that buyers in this price bracket are extra sensitive to quality.  Homes that are modern, well-constructed and have something that gives them a wow-factor move more quickly,” explains Mr O’Rourke.

For the latest REINZ market data for Hamilton, visit www.reinz.co.nz.