Waikato property sales begin to slow
Latest REINZ statistics show a flattening of the Waikato property market after an extended boom.
But experts say it’s not about to bust.
House sales in Hamilton decreased from 306 in September to 278 in October.
And the rest of the Waikato also saw a decline in sales volumes over the same period - 238 to 217.
The median price of sold Hamilton houses nudged up to $518,000 from $510,000.
New Zealand Property Council Waikato branch president Thomas Gibbons believed the drop in sales was an impact of the Reserve Bank’s investor loan to value ratio (LVR) restrictions.
‘‘It was always going to be a case that the numbers would alter at some point, it’s no reason for concern,’’ Gibbons said.
Furthermore, it needed to happen.
‘‘The market was accelerating very quickly and needed to slow down, or correct. But, we are still seeing property sell quite quickly.
‘‘I don’t think there is any sense of a bubble bursting at all yet.’’
However, the biggest issue facing the Hamilton market was ensuring council was fasttracking supply of titled sections, he said.
‘‘A lot of the economic fundamentals are very strong. There is a lot of development in the pipeline. What is important is the pace that development work can proceed.
‘‘[It needs to get] bare land into titled sections that people can buy and build on because that’s got an important impact on meeting the demand, which is still there.’’
Harcourts Hamilton general manager Brian King believes the market is still buoyant.
The decreasing volume juxtaposed by the increasing median illustrated that people were pulling away from the bottom end of the market, he said.
‘‘The market is still going well, buyers are just looking a bit deeper.’’
Although King believed the LVR played its part in the slight decrease in sales volumes, it was speculators and those only wanting one investment property, that were departing the market, rather than the seasoned investor.
This was not an indication that the bubble was about to burst, he said.
It was hard to compare this year’s growth figures with last years extraordinarily high ones.
Last year’s property boom was one for the record books, King said.
‘‘I don’t think there’s any panic in the market yet.
‘‘November last year was a huge month.
‘‘It will be interesting to see what happens this year.’’
Property experts say November will be a good month for sales and development.