Hamilton Rental Market Overview

Hamilton Rental Market Overview21 Jun 2019

Courtesy of Harcourts Rentals, Hamilton

Hamilton’s rental market has seen substantial growth over the last 2 years. We have seen increased positive net migration to the city which has been fueled by major projects around the city. The construction of the Ruakura Inland Port is a major driver that is set to create thousands of jobs while construction is underway; and when complete, create jobs for around 15,000 people.

Residential housing anywhere near this future inland port is increasing in price as land is hard to come by. There will be massive long term demand for housing near this area.

The Port of Auckland has announced it is building an Inland Hub 10mins to the north of Hamilton. Work has already begun, and this too will create hundreds to thousands more jobs and encourage more people to move to the region.

Waikato Hospital has the largest cardiac unit in the southern hemisphere. Braemar Hospital, a large private hospital, has set up in a relatively new building right next to Waikato Hospital. There is a large number of people who transfer to Hamilton to work in both Hospitals, both permanently and temporarily which creates two different markets for rental accommodation requirements.

Hamilton has a large University that has a large roll of international students who come to Hamilton for anywhere between 1-4 years to complete study, this is a rental market where 12 month fixed term tenancies are the norm. Wintec is another tertiary education provider drawing thousands of students from all over NZ and internationally.

The CBD has seen a resurgence with developers renovating existing commercial buildings to bring them up to earthquake standards. This has resulted in large numbers of employers relocating their office spaces back into the city, in turn creating the need for housing closer to the CBD. Genesis Energy, WBHB and Waikato Regional Council are just a few that have made the move into the CBD or are in the process of doing so. The result is city businesses are flourishing and we now have a multicultural city that lives differently than it used to.

We see demand now in all sectors of the rental market provided the product is in the right area for its intended use. Furnished studios and apartments near the University, CBD and Hospital do well, as do townhouses in popular areas.

Over the last 6 months we have seen an increase in rents over our portfolio (Harcourts Rentals in Hamilton manage close to 2500 properties) of 9.5%. When we these statistics were run 6 months ago, the increase had been 8%. This is showing that the trend is strongly upwards.

We process on average 800 applications a month and have to decline almost 80% due to a significant shortage of housing stock. The advantage for our owners is that we get to pick only the best applicants for their houses.

Vacancy rates have sat under 0.5% for the year again indicating the shortage of good rental housing stock in the market. We see this as set to continue for years to come as the market is not building new housing fast enough to keep up with the number of people attracted to living In our beautiful centrally located city.