Uncertainty about prices dominated the Auckland residential housing market in February, with sales numbers falling to their lowest monthly total in six years, and available choice being at its highest for five years.
At the same time the average sales price for properties sold reached a record high of $944,574, marginally higher than the previous record price set in October 2016 of $943,801.
“Experience has taught us to be cautious about reading too much into a single month’s trading results, particularly in February when a good portion of the sales relate to property negotiations that took place over the extended holiday break,” said Barfoot & Thompson Director, Kiri Barfoot.
“What is clear from the results is that prices at the top end of the market were not under downward pressure, with the average sales price increasing by 2.6 percent on the average price for the previous three months.
"Compared to February 2016, the average price was 14.9 percent higher.
“Competition for properties around the $1 million mark was strong.
“In February of the properties sold, 187 or a third of all sales, were for in excess of $1 million. Sales numbers for properties sold in excess of $750,000 were also in line with the numbers sold in 2016 and 2015.
“Conversely, sales under $750,000 were down a third on those for 2016 and under half those in 2015.
“The lower number of sales in the under $750,000 price category brought the median price for the month down to $820,000, its lowest level since May 2016.
“The median price in the last three months has declined by 3.1 percent but remains 11.1 percent higher than it was 12 months ago.
“The number of new listings for February at 2295 was our highest ever in a February and combined with the low number of sales in the month saw available listings at month end at 4546. The last time we had more listings on our books than this was in 2012. Based on buyer interest this situation may be short lived.
“At present, the market has divided around the $750,000 mark. Above this point sales numbers and prices remain consistent. Below it uncertainty has developed as to whether asking prices represent value for money, and sales numbers have fallen.
“A clearer picture of where the market is at is likely to emerge when March’s sales data is available in early April.
“Rural and lifestyle property activity in February was consistent with last year’s sales numbers with prices remaining stable.”
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