Lodge Real Estate’s managing director Jeremy O’Rourke is urging Hamilton’s first home buyers to make decisions early in 2017 before investors re-enter the market in force and prices rise.
“The opportunity is excellent right now for first home buyers looking in the Hamilton market. There are fewer investors currently active, which are first home buyers’ main competition. With fewer active buyers in the under $500,000 price bracket that means prices will likely remain steady in this bracket for the short term.
“Additionally, we’ve had strong listings in January so there are a good number of houses under $500,000 to choose from.”
However, Jeremy says this window of opportunity is likely to narrow in coming months.
“We expect to see investor activity ramp up steadily over coming months, which means competition will be back in force. If first home buyers can act now, we predict they will get a much better deal than if they wait until later in the year,” he said.
The Real Estate Institute of NZ released figures recently showing Hamilton’s median house price fell to $495,000 in January 2017 compared with $525,000 in December 2016.
The number of homes listed in Hamilton during January were 258. This compares with 240 in January 2016.
“Buyer activity and sale prices in any January are never a good prediction of the year ahead. If you look back on January 2016, for example, the median was down and sales were low,” said Jeremy. “But as we know 2016 was a buoyant year for the Hamilton property market.
“This year we’re predicting that price growth could be slower compared with 2016.
“However, sales volumes are likely to continue rising. We’ve had a surprising number of people through our open homes in January, and this should translate into strong sales in February and March.”
Jeremy said many factors in the Hamilton market point toward a positive real estate outlook for 2017.
“Hamilton’s in a great position to grow at a sustainable and affordable rate.
“Employment is growing, immigration is up, the dairy industry is coming back and we’re seeing the positive effects of urban migration,” he said.
“These factors coupled with a good amount of land available for development means we should experience another great year in the property market in the city.”
For the latest REINZ market data, visit www.reinz.co.nz.