17 September 2019

Local Property Trends with Jamie Barakat

The property market is in a constant state of change. As we barrel towards summer, we sat down with Lugtons Real Estate Salesperson Jamie Barakat to discuss his key market tips and the trends that’ll be impacting the Waikato real estate market in the last quarter of the year.

Proud winner of Lugtons 2018/2019 Rookie of the Year, Jamie is known around the Waikato, not only for his skills in sales, communication and negotiation, but also his knowledge of the real estate market.

Sit back, relax and enjoy Jamie’s key insights into the property market.

 Jamie Barakat

Q1 What’s been happening in the Waikato Market?

JB: If you’re a seller, it’s time to take the lead as buyers are scrambling over a short supply of houses. Winter weather can be off-putting and properties can look dull, tired and somewhat dreary, so we understand why owners don’t feel inspired to sell during this period, but the weather is getting warmer so it’s important to get inspired again. The drop in residential listings in Hamilton is a factor that’s forcing house prices up and anything that’s decent is going quickly. Multiple offers are the norm at the moment. So if you have a property, get it on the market quick, before we get into summer and the market heats up with competition.

Q2 Trends/predictions: Character Homes

JB: Character homes are always and will always be on trend, and because of this we’re seeing emotional buyers very active in Hamilton East at the moment. With psychology playing a huge role, it’s creating a reactive state which is another factor in pushing up prices.

Hamilton East delivers a plethora of lifestyle benefits – a central location, river walks, café culture, ample school zoning and Hamilton Gardens are all close by. This suburb is unbeatable location wise.

Q3 Where should I start, when looking to buy a home?

JB: It’s very important to meet with a mortgage broker, or your bank to discuss pre-approval before going down any other pathway. It’s a good time to get answers to some burning questions, commonly:

  • “What level of deposit do I need?”
  • “How much can I borrow?”
  • “What are the repayment terms?”

Then it’s time to start researching locations you’d like to purchase in. I tell all of my clients the best way to do this is to keep an eye out on all the recent sales and new listings in the area, to help gauge the price point homes are going for. This will help you know what type of offer you should place on a home. The best websites to easily keep yourself in the loop (other than Lugtons.co.nz of course) are:

  • realestate.co.nz
  • trademe.co.nz
  • homes.co.nz

Also, if you have an agent in mind, contact them first before hitting open homes. It doesn’t cost you anything and we can help make your journey to home ownership smooth and enjoyable.

Q4 What trends are impacting the real estate market?

JB: Hamilton’s housing market remains relatively buoyant, up 1.8 percent over the last three months, and 5.6 percent year on year to a median value of $564,000.

Many would-be market participants are currently sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see which direction the market goes. How do we know this? It can be seen in the make-up of new mortgage registrations in the area, with the share of home loans going to investors, and movers actively continuing to shrink (17.9 percent for investors and 11.5 percent for movers). First home buyers continue to capitalise on the reduced competition and represented 31.5 percent of new mortgage registrations last month. 

Despite the softening in the market, there are still suburbs performing well, with Enderly, Hillcrest and Whitiora all experiencing an annual change above 10 percent. 

Q5 Your top tips for anyone looking to purchase a home?

JB: When thinking about what you’d like in a home, it’s worth considering whether you want to buy something to live in now and rent out later, or something that will grow with you and your family. If you’re looking for a property to add value to, be realistic about the amount of work to be done and the cost of materials, resource consent and labour.

Some other factors to consider are:

  • The neighbourhood
  • Rates
  • School zones
  • Crime rates
  • Amenities
  • Appreciation opportunities
  • Whether you prefer a quiet, leafy suburb, or the convenience of inner-city living
  • If you’d like to be near public transport or main arterial routes

Q6 Where are the best locations to buy in the Waikato?

JB: It depends what you’re buying for, whether it’s an investment, or a home to live in.

The ‘buy, fix, sell’ model involves buying a property below the area’s median price and adding value to the property through renovation. Try to find a property with potential and ensure you stay within budget, only making changes that will add value.  

I suggest speaking to a salesperson before doing any renovations, as we can inform you about which upgrades add value, and whether they’d be meaningful to a typical buyer for that type of property and suburb.  

The key is to find a suburb that’s already in demand, or one that’s up and coming. This is where we step in and can help you identify great opportunities within the market to ensure you invest in a successful property and neighbourhood.   


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