Hamilton Sales Numbers Low for February

Lodge Real Estate’s managing director, Jeremy O’Rourke, said February’s residential real estate numbers released by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) today point to the fact buyers’ ‘fear of missing out’ is virtually gone from the Hamilton housing market.

“The number of house sales in Hamilton city during February was much lower than the past two Februaries. We only had 193 sales last month, when the past two years were 247 in February 2013 and 245 in February 2012.

“These sales numbers are down because of two factors. First of all, there has been a good amount of quality stock on the market, so buyers are content to sit back, look around and wait for the right property to come along. This is very different to six months ago when buyers were snapping up quality properties very quickly.

“Secondly, as we’ve been saying for months, first home buyers have pulled right out of the market. Those extra fifty or so sales we’re missing this past February can be attributed to this group of buyers being absent,” he explains.

Mr O’Rourke also said the lack of first home buyers if having a big effect on median house prices in Hamilton.

“The median took a jump from $350,000 in January to $375,000, which is closer to the $385,000 median in December 2013.

“You need to analyse this number carefully, however. If you are currently in the market for a new home, you won’t be seeing a huge jump in individual house sales prices.

“Rather, the jump in the median is simply a continuation of a trend that started after the Reserve Bank raised the loan-to-value (LVR) last year. Every month there are less and less sales happening at the bottom end of the market, which is causing Hamilton city’s median house price to shift upward,” he said.

However, Mr O’Rourke said that these buying conditions may be short lived.

“We expect that the number of first home buyers entering the market will increase in the coming months. We are starting to see first home buyers finding more ways to finance their entry into the market.”

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