Real estate experts believe that it is now harder to climb Hamilton’s property ladder, although some have pointed out that there are still affordable homes in several up-and-coming suburbs in the city.
Research group Demographia’s annual housing affordability survey revealed that Hamilton’s median house price is seven times the median income in the city, making it the fourth most “severely unaffordable” market in the country. However, some residents were still able to get their hands on an affordable home.
Hannah Stechman, for example, bought her three-bedroom Dinsdale home for only $530,000 in August 2019. Her mortgage costs $430 per week, which she splits with her partner Nathan Brown.
“I was looking all the time and feeling quite overwhelmed. I would turn up to open homes and there would be 20 other people standing outside the open home before it even started. Then the place would go for $580,000 and I was only wanting to spend $500,000,” Stechman told Stuff.co.nz. “You feel a bit stressed because you really want a nice house for $500,000 but the fact is that's not what you get for $500,000 now.”
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Jeremy O'Rourke, managing director at Lodge Real Estate, said suburbs including Fairfield, Frankton, Forest Lake, and Melville were up and coming – with many of the areas near the city centre.
“In Frankton in particular you've got first home buyers coming into the market strongly there. It's affordable, there's good opportunity for people working in the CBD,” O'Rourke explained.
Brian King, director of Harcourts Hamilton, aired the same sentiments – pointing out that these areas were ones to look out for. He warned that prices in the city are expected to continue to increase this year, but they may still be affordable compared to other cities.
“Obviously for a big city you are still getting good value. You're going to get a lot more here for $800,000 than what you pay for in Tauranga. It's always been really, really hard to get into the market, you're just dealing with different figures now,” he said.