Welcome to the Hamilton Hotel – Investors crowd Airbnbs as government fills motels

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A severe shortage of hotel and motel rooms in Hamilton due to MIQ and the demand for emergency housing is fueling a growing market for Airbnbs in the downtown area.

And there are fears that the city’s continuing housing shortage is having a serious impact on Hamilton’s top attractions, including the soon-to-be-built Waikato Regional Theater.

Ten stylish new townhouses on Liverpool St have recently hit the market and have attracted great interest from buyers.

Harcourts Hamilton real estate agent Warren Pledger marketed the properties and said up to three of the townhouses would initially be used as Airbnb deals. The three-storey units sold for between $ 879,000 and $ 889,000.

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Town center townhouse developments attract a range of buyers, from retirees to young professionals and those seeking a “closed and gone” lifestyle, Pledger said. Investors also think of properties as Airbnbs.

“They say 65% ​​of our homes are related to MIQ [managed isolation and quarantine] and emergency housing, so there is a demand for Airbnbs in Hamilton, ”he said.

Ten new downtown townhouses have been added to Hamilton's housing stock.  The floor space of townhouses varies from 153 m² to 172 m².  Each accommodation has a loggia.

MARK TAYLOR / Tips

Ten new downtown townhouses have been added to Hamilton’s housing stock. The floor space of townhouses varies from 153 m² to 172 m². Each accommodation has a loggia.

“One of our townhouse buyers already has an Airbnb, and he’s basically booked week after week. Its repeated business from a series of companies that have been made aware of it and I guess companies are talking. So she had the foresight to buy another downtown property and will use it as Airbnb.

Material from the Department of Social Development provided to Things Under the Official Information Act, 66 Hamilton motels, lodges and hotels were used to provide emergency housing between January 1 and March 31 of this year.

In addition, three Hamilton hotels – accounting for two-thirds of the downtown hotel room supply – are used as managed isolation facilities.

The persistent lack of accommodation space in the downtown area adds urgency to efforts to attract a new hotel developer to Hamilton. High on the wish list of city leaders is a four star hotel and up.

Harcourts Hamilton real estate agent Warren Pledger says downtown townhouses appeal to a wide range of buyers.  Eight of Liverpool St's townhouses have double garages, which has proven to be a strong selling point, Pledger said.

MARK TAYLOR / Tips

Harcourts Hamilton real estate agent Warren Pledger says downtown townhouses appeal to a wide range of buyers. Eight of Liverpool St’s townhouses have double garages, which has proven to be a strong selling point, Pledger said.

In May, Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate and Hamilton & Waikato Tourism Managing Director Jason Dawson wrote Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, highlighting the impact of the lack of hotel rooms on the city.

The housing shortage prevented Hamilton from meeting the demands of many event planners, resulting in a loss of bookings.

Southgate said the lack of hotel and motel rooms was having an impact on council facilities, such as the Claudelands Events Center. If not resolved, the shortage could impact the Waikato Regional Theater, she said. The 1,300-seat theater by the river is set to become one of the region’s best assets.

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said the city's sites attract many visitors, as does the soon-to-be-built Waikato Regional Theater (file photo).

MARK TAYLOR / Tips

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said the city’s sites attract many visitors, as does the soon-to-be-built Waikato Regional Theater (file photo).

The best long-term solution is for the city to build another hotel, Southgate said.

“Myself and advisor Ryan Hamilton are working very, very hard to have conversations with volunteer developers about potential hotel deals,” Southgate said.

“I will be so thrilled, and I hope it will be during this political time, when a feasible hotel offering walks comes through the gate that we can support and support.”

Southgate said Airbnbs has a place in the city’s accommodation offerings and that she herself used Airbnbs on vacation. However, his preference is for “permanent people” to be in Hamilton homes rather than those who visit for a few days.

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson said there is demand for a range of accommodation types in Hamilton, including Airbnb offerings (file photo).

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Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson said there is demand for a range of accommodation types in Hamilton, including Airbnb offerings (file photo).

“It was suggested to me that individuals buy flats and flats to use as Airbnbs because it’s pretty lucrative right now,” Southgate said.

“I imagine that there are quite a few private houses [in Hamilton] which in fact function as Airbnbs in the very short or medium term.

Jason Dawson, managing director of Hamilton & Waikato Tourism, said there was a critical shortage of large-scale, quality commercial accommodation in the city. The best result for the city would be the construction of a new four-star hotel and more.

“Normally most hotels built today are for five stars, but they open for four or four and a half stars,” Dawson said.

“So they cover their bases in case the market changes and there is a growing demand for a five star hotel. “

Harcourts Hamilton manager Campbell Scott said people buying downtown properties with the intention of using them as Airbnbs are an emerging trend.

Scott said his agency is involved in several charity events and organizers have expressed concern about the lack of accommodation, especially in the CBD, for people coming to these events.

Airbnb offers respond to this demand.

“New builds such as Liverpool St are perfect from a buyers’ point of view … because they have the convenience of being well located, they have the quality of a new build and they are easy to care for. “

Pledger said there is a possible business opportunity for someone to serve the city’s Airbnbs, particularly properties owned by outsiders.


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