Residential property buyers looking for homes over the million dollar mark are more confident than ever when it comes to purchasing in the Hamilton market.
"A year ago, we were seeing hesitancy from buyers at the top end of the market to purchase homes over the million dollar mark in Hamilton," said Lodge Real Estate managing director Jeremy O'Rourke.
"Buyers often perceived they might struggle to make a capital gain - or even recoup costs - on such a high value property when they eventually sold.
"However, this attitude has shifted dramatically. Over the past few months, buyers in this top bracket are very confident about purchasing homes in Hamilton. There are multiple buyers active in the Hamilton market who are competing for properties above the million dollar mark," Mr O'Rourke explained.
Mr O'Rourke said there was 34 sales above a million dollars for the 12 months ending March 2016 compared to 18 for the same period ending March 2015.
He said the highest quality homes in newer Rototuna suburbs were now going for over $1 million dollars, which was virtually unheard of six months ago.
"We now have Hamilton buyers who would normally gravitate toward the river for these sorts of properties looking toward non-traditional areas such as Rototuna.
"Currently the best value for money, however, in this price bracket is definitely along the river - inside or adjacent to the CBD," said Mr O'Rourke.
Million dollar properties remain a small part of Hamilton's residential property market, with 1% of March sales at this level. According to Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) data released today 415 homes were sold in the Hamilton market during March while 359 homes entered the market during the month and listed on realestate.co.nz.
According to REINZ, Hamilton's median house price increased from $439,000 in February to $472,000 in March.
Mr O'Rourke said, the key factor increasing residential property demand and prices in Hamilton was high buyer activity by two categories of migrants.
"We're generally assisting two categories of migrants looking for properties in Hamilton. There's the Auckland families who are sick of the expense of living in the city and looking for a great place to raise children with an easy lifestyle and affordable housing.
"The second category of migrants seem to be those who came into the country a year or so ago and automatically settled in Auckland. But now they are looking to go elsewhere and Hamilton is a good fit for the new life they want to establish in New Zealand," he explained.
Mr O'Rourke said Hamilton is attractive to these migrants because of the range of living options on offer, from townhouses to apartments to detached homes.