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The ones to watch; Waikato’s up and coming outer suburbs

The results are in, and according to the latest data from the 2023 Census, Waikato is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing regions. Between 2018 and 2023 its population grew 8.9%, and Hamilton City alone saw an 8.6% boost to 174,741 people.

Bayleys Hamilton Residential and Lifestyle branch manager Brendon O’Reilly says not only is the city appealing to people, but also major companies.

“We've got a lot of national companies and government agencies putting their Buildings and offices in Hamilton, NZ blood and ACC to name a couple.”

“We've got the new inland port that's happening out in Ruakura, including a large Kmart storage facility out there as well.”

It’s those companies that are creating lots of new jobs, and that coupled with decent property prices is what O’Reilly believes is a major drawcard for many.

“Affordability and opportunity is huge here. There’s also been so much growth over the past few years with new eateries, new pubs, and new cafes popping up, and a kind of excitement around the city.”

O’Reilly says the commute, especially within Hamilton City, is also really smooth.

“I think it's an easy city to live in, especially with the ring road they've put in Hamilton. You can get anywhere in the city within 15 to 20 minutes at any time of the day.”

With an increase in remote working patterns, the rural lifestyle that Waikato offers has also become a lot more accessible for many.

That accessibility, affordability and opportunity is what O’Reilly believes is giving these four Waikato areas a boost. So what can you expect from each of them, and how much are you likely to pay for a property there?


Just 25 minutes from Hamilton CBD is up and coming satellite town Morrinsville. O’Reilly says there’s an exciting development brewing that looks set to deliver a further 1100 homes to the area.

“It’s a large scale subdivision called Lockerbie Estate. So you’ve got three-bedroom homes starting at $750,000, all the way through to a five-bedroom intergenerational home for somewhere around the $1.45 million mark.”

“Right now, there’s around 40 homes to purchase.”

O’Reilly says towns like Morrinsville have been particularly attractive to first home buyers.

“Those who can't afford to get into homes in Hamilton will look at these areas because they're only within a short drive of the city.”

Hamilton CBD is just a stone’s throw away for any major shopping excursions, but Morrinsville township provides all of the essentials, and O’Reilly says there’s a really nice sense of community.

“It’s a very tight knit community and everybody knows everybody. You also get to know the local businesses and their owners well, which is really cool.”

The population is only expected to grow, as more homes within the Lockerbie Estate development near completion.

So how much would a new place set you back? O’Reilly says right now the median sale price for Morrinsville is $757,500.


Mostly known for its surfer lifestyle and beachy vibe, Raglan is also continuing to evolve.

“Raglan historically has stayed the same size for a long period of time, but now there’s some growth out there with the Rangitahi Peninsula development.”

“So for a section, it costs anything from $350,000 through to $1 million, depending on whether it's waterfront or whether it's further into the subdivision.”

O’Reilly says you can then engage with build partners to create your dream home.

“For house and land packages the pricing is anywhere from $1 million to $2 million plus.”

The area’s amenities will also include a new cafe, swimming pools, basketball and tennis courts, as well as easy access to the local golf course.

“Access to the water is also really easy, and it’s just a 40 minute drive to Hamilton on a good run.”

“It’s a bit further out, but many people are prepared to make that sacrifice for the lifestyle. It’s perfect if you’re into boating, fishing or just love the small town vibe.”

O’Reilly says every time he visits it’s not hard to feel like you’re on holiday as soon as you drive down the hill and into Raglan.

Right now the median sale price for Raglan sits at $975,000.


O’Reilly says right between Auckland and Hamilton sits Te Kauwhata.

“It seems to be attractive to both people from Auckland and from the Waikato, depending on where they're working.”

“It's a reasonably short commute - around 30 to 35 minutes to Hamilton, and a little bit longer into Auckland CBD due to traffic.”

Not only is it the best of both locations, the price for an entry-level home is pretty appealing too.

“Around the $650,000 mark for a three-bedroom, single garage home. That price point can go all the way up to about $1 million, but that’s for a home with quite a high spec.”

O’Reilly says the Lakeside suburb development is making a huge difference to the area.

“It’s a beautiful subdivision done really well. There are some great commercial aspects to it tool.”

“There’s a cafe due to open sometime in July, as well as a general store on the way. Not to mention the gym, barber and daycare centre that’s already running.”

So what are you likely to pay for a decent property in Te Kauwhata? Right now the median price is $650,000.


Tamahere is a more established lifestyle suburb on the outskirts of Hamilton City, and Brendon O’Reilly says after slower sales activity the area is coming to life again.

“In April and May one of our agents Angela Finnigan saw seven sales across those months, which indicates that we’re starting to see some higher end properties move again which is really exciting.”

“A lot of those properties had been on the market for a while. Most of those sales on average were around the $2.5 million mark with one tipping over 3 million.”

“This year Angela also finalised two record sales of $4,850,000 and $6,000,000 in Tamahere.”

O’Reilly says the suburb has traditionally been highly sought after, especially by lifestyle type buyers.

“It’s so close to town, and a really short commute to Cambridge with really easy access to the freeway.”

“You’ve got the choice of sticking to the local cafes and eateries or easily going a little further afield to try something a little different.”

So if you’re in the market for a higher end home in a sought after suburb, how much could one in Tamahere realistically set you back?

O’Reilly says right now the median sale price for May averages out at a tickle over $2 million.

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