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More buyers but prices still down - Waikato

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  • More buyers but prices still down - Waikato

    More buyers but prices still down

    By NIKKI PRESTON - Waikato Times Last updated 13:51 09/03/2009

    A return of first-home buyers and property investors to the market has done little to increase house prices or sales volumes.
    The average Hamilton house price slid 10.1 per cent to $334,068 for the three months to February, 2009, compared to the same period last year. House prices in Waipa district fell 6.6 per cent to $308,793, Franklin dropped 8 per cent to $383,731 and South Waikato dipped 11.9 per cent $154,014, according to the latest QV figures, out today.
    Although the number of inquiries has risen significantly compared to last year, agents said it was still hard to get a deal.
    Lugton's general manager Kevin Laurence said some people were too pushy.
    "Negotiations are still hard as some purchasers are trying to negotiate too hard and vendors are saying enough's enough."
    The southwest of Hamilton suffered the biggest drop in value in the city, down 0.7 per cent to 11.1 per cent year on year.
    Lugton's had seen a lot of interest in cheaper areas such as Nawton. Last week, one Nawton property had four offers, which Mr Laurence said was uncommon.
    Harcourts general manager Brian King said February had been busier than it had been for a year.
    "We are going to see an increase in volumes, most likely in February [sales figures] the median price maybe not better but volume-wise it will be. Some areas are still falling in price but a lot of good buying in the market seems to have disappeared out of the market. That will start to harden the prices as far as what you see," Mr King said.
    On Thursday, the Reserve Bank is expected to cut the official cash rate by anywhere between 50 and 100 basis points, signalling even better value for mortgage holders.
    However, Mr Laurence said while interest rates were favourable, there were other factors that would slow the market down.
    "I'm not expecting it to be a huge year by any means. Interest rates may be lower, but job security is still a factor."
    Nationally, the average house price fell 8.9 per cent during the past year worse than the 8.3 per cent decline reported in the year to January. The average sale value was $383,786.
    QV Hamilton spokesman Richard Allen said investors appeared to be re-entering the market. "The average sales price for the city has slowly retreated over the last six months and reinforces this pessimism."

    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  • #2
    Hamilton House Prices

    Prices in Hamilton are too high. While Hamilton is a great place to live there is no justification for the asking price of houses given the difficult economic climate. Rents are reasonable here. We rent a very nice two bedroomed unit in a lovely area for $230 per week, lawnmowing included. Using Westpac's online calculator we "could be paying off a $ 185,320 home ! This assumes a loan over 25 years at an average interest rate of 6.49%p.a. with minimum fortnightly payments of $460 and a $37,060 deposit). The Westpac website forgets to mention rates & other costs associated with owning a property. Also, who wants to spend 25 years paying down a mortgage? Finally, property here is falling at an accelerating rate & in today's market property ownership is risky. The bottom line is renting is cheap & low-risk in todays falling market. When buying becomes affordable we will buy, until then renting makes much more sense.