Demand has fallen from an exceptionally high peak but real estate agents say the market is still simmering.
Interest in the region’s housing stock dropped 19.3 per cent for the three months to April compared to the same period in 2016, according to realestate.co.nz data.
But don’t fret, the decline in views per listing doesn’t spell trouble for prices, the experts say.
Lugton Real Estate’s managing director Simon Lugton said the main cause of the drop was the general cooling from “quite a high”.
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“It was boom year,” he said, “it doesn’t surprise me.
“It couldn’t continue at those levels – they were one-in-10-year levels. If you look at March last year being the high, through the year it did start to drop off.
“A few investors have probably exited the market, probably taking a bit of a breather. But the sales we are seeing are still reasonably strong.”
The general election in September and the colder months on the way would likely slow sales down, he said.
But he was expecting a solid year of activity without reaching the previous highs.
Harcourts general manager Brian King said the drop in demand wasn’t being felt on the ground.
While the competition had eased up, there was still a lot of activity in Hamilton’s market, he said.
Last year they saw “extraordinary” numbers, which they were unlikely to see this year, but there was still enough swing in the market to get through winter, he said.
“It got so competitive and it wasn’t Hamilton money driving it.
“The whole market had to have a breather. It’s a steady as you go market – getting back to normal.
“We’re getting good figures coming through.
“We’re not budgeting on same year as last year, but a very, very good year. I think that we are going to see some good sales being made. Compared to two years ago, we are very busy.”
Lodge Real Estate’s managing director Jeremy O’Rourke said there was good interest but it wasn’t at the same level as last year.
That high was an “unreal market”, he said.
There has been better buyer choice this year compared to last year, he said, which was contributing to the ease in demand.
Nationally, demand for residential housing has dropped by 13.8 per cent over the past three months.
Auckland slumped the most, by 31.1 per cent over that period, followed by Waikato.
Other regions with a noticeable cooling in demand included Wellington (down 13.4 per cent), Bay of Plenty (down 11.3 per cent), Canterbury (down 9.4 per cent) and Central Otago (down 9.2 per cent).
However, demand for property climbed in the Wairarapa (31.7 per cent), Southland (24.5 per cent) and Gisborne (19.4 per cent) over the past three months.