A combination of hungry Auckland buyers and historically low interest rates is keeping the Hamilton residential property market burning hot.
QV released figures last week showing that Hamilton property prices have increased on average 20.7 per cent - 23.3 per cent in the last 12 months.
The big question is, will it continue? And what's happening in the market right now?
Mark Keesom, the top residential salesperson at Ray White Hamilton for February, expects that 2016 is going to look a lot like 2015.
"I don't know if prices will jump as much, but sales seem to be very strong. Quite a bit has changed in the last six weeks. Inquiry has gone through the roof. Sales are happening a lot faster," he said.
Harcourts' top salesperson, Shaun Cosgrave, agrees.
"I personally feel there is still going to be growth this year. The fact that the OCR has dropped, and may potentially drop further, means that money has never been so cheap to borrow. I think the overall effect is that the market will keep going, especially because lower interest rates make real estate investment more attractive and more likely to have positive cashflow," Cosgrave said.
Glenn Collins, Lodge Real Estate's number one salesperson, also points to economic fundamentals as being positive for the real estate market this year.
"The difference I see between this market and the last boom in 2004 -2006 was that last time was quite a speculative market. Whereas this market is supported by the fundamentals of historically low interest rates and quality migration. That puts pressure on Auckland as first port of call, and we get the spill over from Auckland," Collins said.
All three salespeople commented that properties are in short supply at the moment with multiple offers being seen on most properties, and a strong percentage of Hamilton sales being to Aucklanders. However, they each had quite different answers when asked what type of properties were in particularly short supply.
Keesom felt the strongest demand was for three-bedroom brick properties in a good street, with Auckland investors attracted to the low maintenance of brick compared to weatherboard. He said there is also high competition for anything that is subdividable.
Cosgrave said he is finding multi-unit properties are particularly in short supply.
"I've got lots of buyers for multi-unit multi-income properties, and not much stock. Two-by-two units, or two-by-four units - anything with multiple incomes."
Collins pointed to a very short supply of properties in the $650,000-$800,000 bracket in the north-eastern suburbs, and mentioned, "There is high consciousness from buyers about school zoning - that is becoming more and more important for people."
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