Piako Post

District still hot property for Aucklander­s


It’s a hot property market in north Waikato as Auckland buyers continue to cash up, then snap up cheaper homes in desired rural towns.

Despite a cooling market, caused by a tougher lending environmen­t and rising mortgage rates, Waikato real estate agents say demand is still strong in areas like Ngāruawāhi­a, Huntly and Taupiri.

Fifty per cent of Kirn Parmar’s enquires come from Auckland house hunters.

The Lugtons lifestyle sales consultant said Auckland families are selling up and searching for lifestyle properties that are accessible but come without a hefty price tag.

Parmar said a dream home on a lifestyle block can be snatched up for $2 million – the same price as high-end residentia­l homes in Hamilton.

He recently sold a fivebedroo­m, three-bathroom home on 10,000 square metres on Old Taupiri Rd in Ngāruawāhi­a for $1.75m.

But it was the stigma attached to areas like Ngāruawāhi­a and Huntly that were keeping Hamilton buyers away, he said.

‘‘They believe property should be half the price because of where it is. But Auckland buyers say ‘wow, that’s cheap’ and it has proximity to Auckland.’’

Parmar said pre-existing homes were 40 per cent cheaper than in Hamilton – but as they’re better suited to first home buyers, who aren’t in a position to buy – they’re on the market the longest.

First-home buyers have taken a step back from the market as leading New Zealand banks pushed pause on low deposit loans, making it harder to get a mortgage.

This, along with rising mortgage rates and looming changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act, making it harder to get a loan, have restricted the pool of buyers willing and able to pay current prices.

Neverthele­ss, there’s still a bit of demand out there.

‘‘The market hasn’t really slowed down [in north Waikato] the same way it has in residentia­l Hamilton,’’ Parmar said.

Kelvin Davidson, property economist for analyst CoreLogic, said there is evidence that relocating Auckland owneroccup­iers are still keen on Waikato.

Lower house prices, improved accessibil­ity and remote working play a key part.

Davidson said 21 per cent of relocating Auckland owners moved into regional Waikato lately – an increase from 16 per cent in 2019.

Across regional Waikato, overall movers (whether Auckland or local) account for around 30 per cent of total activity.

Sales consultant for Harcourts Hamilton central city Sol Taplin said he’s seen Auckland buyers in lockdown purchase a property without viewing the place in person.

‘‘It’s not a big drive and people are happy to travel to Auckland for work. They get more for their money,’’ Taplin said.

A 591 square metre, threebedro­om home, on Great South

Rd, Taupiri, sold for $620,000 in December last year and homes in subdivisio­ns, like Mountain View Estate, that sold over a year ago for $900,000 are now over $1m.

‘‘Homes are still selling and for good money. It’s the middle of the range homes that are taking longer to sell because first home buyers are impacted by new lending rules.’’

According to CoreLogic’s latest House Price Index, house prices are flatlining nationwide, with the national increase this month the lowest since Covid hit in early 2020.

On a monthly basis, Hamilton dropped by 0.9 per cent to an average of $891,884 while price increases in Auckland (up 1.4 per cent to $1,520,341) slowed.

Ray White salesperso­n Renee Boleyn said that despite the limited market of potential buyers, a ‘‘good third’’ of buyers were coming from Auckland.

Boleyn sold a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home on Russell Rd, Huntly with an RV of $485,000 for $700,000 to an Auckland buyer who ‘‘sold up and had enough’’ of living in the big smoke.

A home across the street sold for $620,000, a feat from its GV at $405,000 and a three bed, one bath in Croft Terrace was sold for $705,000 – up from its RV of $480,000.

‘‘Auckland buyers are willing to pay the extra cash for a home. They’re comparing it to the Auckland market and will normally pay a bit more [than] someone who is a local,’’ Boleyn said.

 ?? MARK TAYLOR/STUFF ?? Major housing developmen­t is under way in Ngāruawāhi­a.
MARK TAYLOR/STUFF Major housing developmen­t is under way in Ngāruawāhi­a.

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