High performance, on-the-ground insights and the 120 day rule

17 Jul 2023 The Lodge City Rentals Team

Market Updates

Over halfway through the year, and there’s no winter freeze on the Hamilton rental market! Most of our June stats remained stable or only showed small fluctuations compared to May, demonstrating the consistent demand for rental properties in Hamilton and surrounding areas.

This month, Hamilton Lake Domain provided an outstanding location for our April-June Lodge Quarterly Awards. This quarter’s event was a bit different, with the team hearing from guest speaker Dr Matt Kritz, the Director of Human Performance at the University of California (San Diego). Previously, he was instrumental in growing NZ’s high performance athletes. The team took a lot out of his talk!

Congratulations goes to our own ‘high performance’ property managers: Zack Cathcart, Lisa Brown and Jordan Slight, with Keith Hallam taking home the Manager’s Choice award.

For the rest of this blog I’ll share some insights on the Hamilton residential property market from Lodge Managing Director Jeremy O’Rourke. Whether you have plans to buy or sell, or are sitting tight like many property owners, I believe it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse.

Plus, our Business Development Manager Nic Elliottyson has a short note related to the Healthy Homes standards, to clear up some confusion we’ve been hearing from landlords. It could be welcome news for those upgrading older properties to meet the standards.

Hamilton’s residential property market – reading past the data

The REINZ data for June, reported on by NZ Herald and BusinessDesk (paywalled) among others, as well as Lodge’s own data, showed that home listings are down, dipping by 21.2% to 6,218 nationally in June from 7,893 listings a year prior. Prices froze for the month, with the national median house price unchanged from May.

Both Jeremy and Auckland real estate heads like Peter Thompson note that as sales listings decrease, the opposite is true for buyer demand. Lodge’s agents are now seeing well-presented properties sell in competition as people become more comfortable with where the market is tracking. Likewise, in Auckland Barfoot & Thompson are fielding multi-offer bids on properties and facilitating busy auction rooms.

I draw these comparisons with Auckland’s market as in many ways, Jeremy says that Hamilton is functioning as an extension of Auckland, with sales and interest rising. However, our northern neighbour likely doesn’t realise it continues to leak people to the mighty Waikato. Lodge’s website continues to draw more users from Auckland than any other city (including Hamilton!), and 34% of our June leases went to out-of-towners.

With the July OCR staying put as predicted, and the LVRs eased for a month now, we’re hearing that many buyers are having little to no trouble securing finance. While high interest rates, cost-of-living pressures and the upcoming election continue to cause some hesitancy, Jeremy says he’d be surprised if we don’t see prices rising by the end of the winter.

My takeaway: while I know many landlords are ‘holding fire’ until the election, now could be the right time to start exploring your options. We’re always happy to offer an on-the-ground perspective on suburbs and property types that continue to deliver for investors.

Healthy Homes standards and the 120-day rule

In her daily work with landlords, Business Development Manager Nic has recently cleared up a few points of confusion around compliance timeframes with the Healthy Homes standards. I thought I’d share the note here too, in case it is of benefit to our readers.

After the Government made the shift late last year, the final date by which all private landlords must comply with the Healthy Homes standards is 1 July 2025.

The other key timing to understand is that private landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the standards within 120 days of any new or renewed tenancy commencing.

So, if you purchase an older property that requires work to become compliant, this work does not need to be complete before the tenancy starts, so long as the home at least meets the insulation requirements.

We know it’s important that your new investment property is tenanted and providing returns as quickly as possible, so this allows landlords to avoid any waiting periods with an empty property as compliance work is undertaken.

Hopefully welcome news for some! If you would like to talk through how this might apply to your new rental property, or arrange a Healthy Homes compliance check, reach out to myself and our friendly Lodge Rentals team. We’re here to help.

See you in August,

Jason Waugh

General Manager, Lodge City Rentals

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