First-home buyers push up Hamilton sales

ANDREA FOX AND JENNA LYNCH
Last updated 05:00 13/02/2013

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The number of house sales in Hamilton last month jumped 37 per cent on the same time last year, as first-time buyers and landlords gave the market a curry up.

Latest figures from the Real Estate Institute show 183 homes sold in the city last month compared to 133 in January last year.

But REINZ said prices remained relatively flat, with the median price in Hamilton last month just $5000 up on January 2012 at $320,000.

But Lodge Real Estate managing director Jeremy O'Rourke hosed down any notion that the Hamilton market was heating up like Auckland's.

"We're excited but we're a long, long way from recovered. The economy is recovering and we're going in the right direction but these are still weak numbers by historical standards.

"But it's trending in the right direction and we've seen that for over 12 months."

Mr O'Rourke said the extra sales were to first-home buyers and property investors.

Wherever the buyers are coming from, they are definitely out in force.

Dmitry Green, 25, and his sister, Anastasia, listed their three bedroom Fairview Downs property just two weeks ago, and already have an offer on the table.

"Since we've had it on the market we've had people come through every day," he said.

Mr Green said even with the offer ready to be signed people were flooding through the doors.

Lugtons Hamilton North sales manager Ces Devereux said demand was outweighing supply and it was hoped more listings would come in.

"We were expecting more for January," he said. "It was not the frenzy we were hoping for.

"The volume of sales has increased somewhat because there's a lot of those KiwiSavers that are maturing so there are a lot of first-home buyers out there," he said.

Another result of the influx of KiwiSaver clients buying was movement in the next tier of the market, with the $350,000-$450,000 price bracket leading the market, he said.

REINZ said house sales across the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region last month were 18.5 per cent up on January last year, but prices remained flat.

All parts of the wider region posted rising sales numbers apart from Waikato country areas and eastern Bay of Plenty.

The median price across the wider Waikato/Bay of Plenty region last month was $312,500, compared to $305,000 the same month last year.

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- Waikato Times

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