REAL ESTATE

Auckland Property Prices Fall While Sales Numbers Remain Steady In August

Friday 3 September 2010, 4:15PM
By Barfoot & Thompson
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AUCKLAND

House sales in Auckland continued to tick over quietly in August but remain stalled on winter sales levels while prices came under pressure, with the average sales price for the month falling to its lowest level since January.

“During August we sold 637 properties, which was only 7 fewer than in July and 28 less than June, so there was a modest level of market activity,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.

“Sales levels have remained constant around the 650 level for three months.

“The average sale price for August was $510,978, which is the lowest average price for six months.

“It is 4.4 percent below July’s average price and 4 percent below the average price being achieved in August last year.

“In August the market turned in favour of buyers, and the major contributor to this is the lack of choice for buyers.

“We are selling what we list, but throughout August there was a degree of uncertainty about the economy, compounded by the challenges South Canterbury Finance was going through, and which ultimately led to it being placed in receivership.

“The lack of choice shows up in the number of new listings which, at 1086 in August, was the lowest in 7 months and the lowest in 18 months if you exclude December, which is always affected by the lead in to the Christmas and holiday season.

“At the start of September we had 5626 properties for sale, which is the lowest number for 7 months.

“There are buyers in the market, and we are experiencing a significant increase in the number of visitors to our web site.

“Once the coming personal and GST tax changes are behind us, and as an improving economy increases confidence, we anticipate vendors will return to the market, and prices and activity will show a modest lift as we move into summer."

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Rental Activity

Rental activity remained strong in August, with the average weekly rent achieved being $406, down $2 a week on the average for July but up $28 on that for August last year.

The number of properties rented in August was 728, up 1.8 percent on those for August last year but down 6.1 percent on July, which is traditionally one of the two ‘high’ months of the year, the other being January.