Lodge Real Estate (Hamilton) Ltd managing director Jeremy O’Rourke says growth of the IT sector is lifting sales at the upper end of Hamilton’s housing market, while more young Aucklanders are also finding homes in their lower price bracket in the city.
Mr O’Rourke was commenting after the Real Estate Institute released its monthly housing statistics on Tuesday, which showed Hamilton’s median sale price down from $575,000 in March to $569,000 in April. It was $560,000 a year ago.
“In January, Hamilton experienced a record median house price ($579,000), and March wasn’t far behind. Historically April sales normally pull back a bit, but not this April. Sales are still strong and prices are buoyant.
“Now, with the lower official cashrate and bank interest rates following suit, we are seeing increased
interest from homeowners seizing the opportunity to move into new properties. It’s a buoyant market at every price point, from first-homebuyers to those looking at million-dollar-plus options.”
Mr O’Rourke said the strength of Hamilton’s housing market was related directly to the strength of the city’s knowledge sector: “Compared to 10-15 years ago, Hamilton’s knowledge economy is booming. Our IT sector is particularly strong, while high tech service sectors are thriving. Around 40% of the city’s workforce is now employed in the knowledge sector.
“These staff are generally well paid, and that means they are looking for homes in the upper
end of our market. Growth in this part of the city’s job market is a key factor that is driving Hamilton’s median house price upward and keeping sales numbers up.”
The 18 homes $1 million-plus homes sold in March represented 6% of total sales: “This upper part of the market is growing – during 2018 property sales over $1 million averaged only 3.4% of total sales each month.”
At the same time, Mr O’Rourke said young Aucklanders were moving to Hamilton because
they could afford to buy their first home there: “Every week we’re meeting young Aucklanders who are choosing to move to Hamilton because they can afford to get into their first home. And, the added advantage of moving to Hamilton is they can find a great job that fits with their career ambitions.”
But he also warned that competition was getting strong in the first-home price bracket: “Recently we had 13 tenders on a $460,000 property.”
267 homes were sold in Hamilton in April, 289 in March, 230 in April 2018.
Attribution: Agency release.