Waikato prop­erty sales be­gin to slow

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - PROP­ERTY

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.

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