20 April, 2017

First-time buyers home in on Northern Waikato

First home buyers (FHBs) priced out of the Auckland market are likely to be buying on the other side of the Bombay Hills, according to property information and analytics specialists CoreLogic.

Data prepared by CoreLogic for Westpac shows that the proportion of sales to FHBs in the Northern Waikato townships of Tuakau and Huntly during 2016 was up 44 percent and 27 percent respectively.

CoreLogic Senior Researcher Nick Goodall said FHBs accounted for 35% of all sales in Huntly and 36 percent of all sales in Tuakau, well ahead of other parts of the region popular with FHBs (i.e. towns or suburbs with at least 50 sales to FHBs in 2016).

“Across the region as a whole, the number of transactions is slightly down on last year, and in many towns and suburbs sales to FHBs have declined at a similar rate to total sales. However, while total sales in both Huntly and Tuakau are down by more than 25 percent, sales to FHBs have remained relatively buoyant,” Mr Goodall said.

Westpac’s Head of Customer-Northern Region, Colin Smith, said the data matched anecdotal reports of Auckland FHBs being prepared to look further afield – as well as other CoreLogic research that showed FHBs accounted for less than a fifth of Auckland house sales.

Mr Smith said improved links between Hamilton and Auckland made the Waikato a more attractive option for FHBs working in the Auckland region.

“It’s interesting to note that, with the exception of Glenview, the Hamilton suburbs showing the strongest percentage increase in sales to FHBs are all located close to the main roads north,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said the average price paid by FHBs was below the median value for properties in all the towns and suburbs included in the CoreLogic report, which was consistent with data from other parts of the country.


These are the top five Waikato towns and suburbs for sales to first home buyers (ranked by percentage of total sales, includes only towns and suburbs with at least 50 sales to FHBs in 2016).

  1. Tuakau 70 sales in 2016 (36%), 66 in 2015 (25%). Median Value of all properties in the suburb $538k.
    a.     Average Sale Price for first home buyers in 2016 $525k, ranging mostly from $275k to $700k (outliers at $170k, and, at top end,                  $755k and $950k)

  2. Huntly 94 sales in 2016 (35%), 94 in 2015 (26%). Median Value $316k.
    a.     Average Sale Price $301k, ranging mostly from $100k to $500k (two above $600k)

  3. Glenview (Hamilton) 56 sales in 2016 (31%), 48 in 2015 (23%). Median Value $487k.
    a.     Average sale price $431k, ranging from $180k to $650k.

  4. Ngaruawahia 52 sales in 2016 (28%), 62 in 2015 (30%). Median Value $349k.
    a.     Average sale price $319k, ranging from $110k to $515k.

  5. Hillcrest (Hamilton) 54 sales in 2016 (28%), 47 in 2015 (19%). Median Value $528k
    a.     Average sale price $480k, ranging from $200k to $620k (two over $715k)

Other Hamilton suburbs where the proportion of sales to FHBs increased significantly in the past year include Fairview Downs (from 27% (23 sales) to 38% (29 sales) and Saint Andrews (from 24 percent (36 sales) to 28 percent (38 sales).