REAL ESTATE

Auckland house market shows unmistakable signs of slowing

Wednesday 3 August 2016, 10:08AM
By Barfoot & Thompson
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AUCKLAND

For the first time in 5 years, the Auckland housing market is showing unmistakable signs that prices are stabilising, and may even be plateauing.

“There has been a definite change in the market in the last month,” said Wendy Alexander, Chief Executive Officer of Barfoot & Thompson.

“The average price in July was $867,681, a fall of 4.5 percent on that for June, but more significantly 2 percent below the average price for the previous three months.

“The trend is not as evident in the median price, which at $840,000 was the same as in June, and 2.1 percent higher than the median price for the previous 3 months.

“The winter months, school holidays and a slowing in the number of new listings all contributed to the slow-down in July, but buyer determination to pay whatever is necessary to achieve a property was tempered.

“Buyers remain prepared to pay a fair price, and under the hammer sales at auctions of 70 percent were still high, but sales activity is slower than it was at the same time last year.

“In the 3 months May to July this year we sold 3508 properties. In the same period last year we sold 3780, a 7.8 percent difference.

“The year-on year increase in prices is still occurring, but at a much slower rate than we have seen in the past 4 years.

“The average price has increased by 5.3 percent over the past 7 months compared to 2015’s full year average price increase of 14 percent.

“The median price increase over the past 7 months has been 6 percent compared to 17.4 percent for 2015.

“Whether price increases will continue in the remaining months of the year is unclear. Normally, prices rise as we enter the spring/summer months, but the Reserve Bank’s new regulations affecting investors will start to have an impact from August on.”

In July Barfoot & Thompson sold 1034 properties, down 11.5 percent on the number in June and down 25.5 percent on those for the same month last year.

New listings at 1426 were down 19.4 percent on those in June and down 19.6 percent for those in July last year.

At month end it had 3012 properties on its books, 2.6 percent higher than in June and 7.5 percent higher than in July last year.

During July it sold 383 properties, or 37 percent of all sales, for more than $1 million. It sold 94 properties, or 9.1 percent of sales, for under $500,000.

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