Waikato’s best towns to buy in

CambridgeWaikato’s rural towns are heating up as buyers look for better deals.

Harcourts managing director for Otorohanga, Te Awamutu and Te Kuiti, Ken McGrath, said prices were creeping up in all three towns.

“We are doing very well. A huge part of our market is Hamiltonians at the present time,” he said.

Te Awamutu had seen an influx from Waikato’s biggest city as people tried to escape high prices, and realised it “is quite close”.

In the year to date, Harcourts had seen written volumes up 74 per cent on the same period a year ago, and average volumes in the town go from $300,000 to $331,000.

Both Otorohanga and Te Kuiti were also seeing an increase in prices, and properties were selling more quickly.

However, McGrath said it had taken “a lot longer” for the impact of Auckland and Hamilton prices increasing to flow through to the towns.

“We are starting to see more people coming into town now,” he said.

“That has just started to happen.”

While houses were moving “pretty fast” in Otorohanga now, listings were slow to make it to market and that was limiting price growth.

Written values were up on the year to date by about 6 per cent, compared to the same period a year ago, for Harcourts.

Te Kuiti had also seen “quite a lot of movement” with written values up by 26 per cent for the same period a year ago.

As prices in other centres continued to climb, so too would prices in Otorohanga and Te Kuiti, so long as supply came through, said McGrath.

However, the average price had dropped thanks to a large number of farm sales pushing up prices in 2014.

As for what was behind the growth in prices, McGrath said the “Auckland market has been controlling all of our markets”.

Even if it slowed down, he expected that growth to keep impacting all three towns for some time to come.

L.J. Hooker Morrinsville business owner Dave Young said the spring had been “extremely strong” for the town, with plenty of interest from Aucklanders, and short supply, keeping prices high.

While “it’s not a bonfire anymore…there are still plenty of hot embers,” he said.

That would see prices remain high heading into the new year, Young predicted, particularly if stock remained tight.

The new motorway, low interest rates and the relaxing of lending rules were all impacting the market in Morrinsville.

He said the market was “probably the best I have seen it” in 15 years in real estate.



Professionals Cambridge business owner Ian Brookes said the Cambridge market had been “very good, other than getting listings”.

“The biggest problem is anyone selling, they have to replace their property and there’s not a lot…there’s a dire shortage of properties to buy and build on.”

He said while demand from Auckland had slowed down, Hamiltonians were now in the market and that was keeping it moving, although “not quite as much as it has been”.

Currently, he said a buyer would struggle to find anything under $200,000 in the town, and any well-priced, well-presented property was flying off the shelves.

He said the currently property boom was “probably better than what the 2007 property boom was”.