While Hamilton has its big growth areas in the North East, Peacocke and Rotokauri, almost any residential property built between the 1920s and the 1970s is potentially open for redevelopment, says a local home building firm boss.

Yeoman Homes managing director Andrew Yeoman said the Rototuna and Flagstaff area was rapidly developing into a city in its own right - which would come closer to reality as the new Rototuna town centre was completed. Demand was such that a dozen properties his company recently released onto the market were snapped up within half a day, mostly by owner-occupiers.

Progress in Rotokauri and Peacocke growth areas had been a bit slower, but people should not overlook what was happening in the older suburbs, he said.

"The good thing in the older city fringe area is that the infrastructure is already in place. Typically they're close to amenities. Anywhere where parks and shops are within walking distance, people want to live there."


Population increase including immigration and Aucklanders moving to Hamilton - where they can still get a three to four-bedroom home for what they'd pay for an apartment north of the Bombays, was behind the surge in interest in Hamilton housing.

Hamilton City Council city growth general manager Kelvin Eglinton said the council expected 50 per cent of city growth over the next 16 years to come from infill housing.

The good thing in the older city fringe area is that the infrastructure is already in place.

Lodge Real estate managing director Jeremy O'Rourke said city living in Hamilton was being transformed as developers bought up large sections earmarked for infill housing.

"We have seen a huge surge in demand by developers looking for large sections in the city where they can develop infill housing, duplexes and apartments."

This would lead to a significant change in the city landscape over the next 12 to 18 months and was a sign Hamilton was maturing as a city and providing more living options for residents.

Yeoman's company was working with individual property owners, often older people who no longer needed a full section, who were interested in redeveloping their properties.

"We try to relocate older houses which we manage to do in about 80 per cent of cases.

"The remainder we have to demolish because they can't be moved but we try to salvage what we can that can be re-used."


Apartments and town houses were often taken by people at both ends of the market - young people who did not want the hassle of looking after a section, and older people keen to downsize.

Even with a general election looming later in the year Yeoman expected the property market to remain strong. The introduction of more stringent loan to value ratios had led to temporary hesitations but buyers had returned quickly with increased enthusiasm.

"People will hold their breath to see what happens in September but New Zealand is pretty stable and it will be off again later in the year," he said.