Aucklanders are looking as far away as Hamilton to buy homes
as more people find themselves squeezed out of their local
real estate market.
Hamilton real estate agents say there has been a surge in
inquiries about properties in their market where the average
house price is $347,406.
Other real estate commentators say some are even choosing to
make the 90-minute commute over the Bombay Hills while
maintaining their lifestyle in the Waikato.
In Auckland, the average house price is $628,205 but that
will not buy much for those wanting more than an apartment or
a unit in the inner city suburbs.
Sue Hall, of Hamilton's Ray White, said there was increased
interest in the local market from Aucklanders with a "huge
influx" making inquiries and many taking the trip south for a
She said $600,000 could buy a modern four bedroom home with a
decent section, two living areas, two bathrooms and a garage
with enough room for three cars.
"It's been quite recent, I would say there's been a huge
influx in the past two months. A lot of investors are not
getting the return up there so they're coming down here.
"There has also been interest from Christchurch buyers with
many looking to spend their insurance payouts in Hamilton.
"A lot don't want to go to Wellington because of the
earthquake risk and Auckland because it's just so
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Helen
O'Sullivan said there was a small trend of Aucklanders buying
in Hamilton and commuting.
Property commentator Alistair Helm said it was normal that
higher prices in Auckland were forcing some people to look
out of the city centre and beyond. Commuting from Hamilton to
Auckland didn't make sense until a high-speed train was
established linking the two cities but some buyers may be
pre-empting things "and saying it's going to happen one day
so why don't we jump the gun and buy a house now".
"There's no doubt Hamilton is growing and as a constant of
that employment is growing."
Jeremy O'Rourke, managing director of Lodge Real Estate, said
Aucklanders previously zeroed in on Hamilton real estate when
the market neared its peak between 2005 and 2007 and interest
rates were about 10 per cent.
"It's not that we are awash with Auckland buyers but we keep
bumping into people who are making this transition into our
market because Auckland has become too expensive and
Among those to make the move were the Hooker family who were
cramped in their old Grey Lynn villa but now live on a
Hamilton lifestyle block, which has a 10m salt water pool in
Carl Hooker, 37, and his wife, 32, decided to hunt slightly
further afield than Auckland while looking for a bigger home
for themselves and their three boys .
For a similar price, they were able to swap their
100-year-old villa on a small section for a three-year-old
mansion on 5.786 hectares.
The couple both still work in Auckland, splitting the weekly