Hamilton house sales during July fell marginally from the numbers recorded in June. The 8% drop to 191 sales was still a 26% improvement on July 2010. The median price continued to bounce around, jumping to $338,000 from $315,000, fluctuating with the changes in the distribution of sales. More importantly, as shown in the accompanying graph, the 6 month median price trend line has been steady at $325,000 for over 7 months. The number of houses available for sale has been falling rapidly over the first half of the year. However, the number of houses entering the market rose during July which, when coupled with the slight pullback in sales, flattened the decline in stock. Clearance rate of all auction properties, selling prior to, under the hammer or post auction, during the June/July period exceeded 75% by the start of August.
Buyers to this point have remained price sensitive and patient. However, the availability of properties under $300,000 is diminishing and this is causing concern for first home buyers who have been fuelling the market’s recovery. Waiting on the sidelines may no longer be a prudent option for those who have been disciplined to this point.
The popularity of suburbs Rototuna, Hillcrest and Nawton continued during July. However, a surge in activity in Fairview Downs surprised the market. Buyers began to recognise the value of the affordable properties with access to open recreation spaces and easy access into the central city or Westfield Shopping Centre.
The top end of the market roared into life after struggling for the first half of the year. There were a mere 19 sales above $650,000 for the first six months of 2011. By comparison there were 10 sales recorded above $650,000 during July. Highlights in this segment during the month included;
Louis Lin’s sale of a Rangiwari home for $1,000,000
Warwick Johnson’s sale of a Beerescourt river property for $745,000 and
Glenn Collins and Sonia Christison’s sale of a River Road character property for $949,000.
Early indications for August point to a growth in the number of sales as children head back to school and parents refocus on buying their next home.