Price Realism Settles Across Auckland Housing Market

Monday 5 September 2011, 1:01PM
By Barfoot & Thompson

The Auckland housing market has adopted a “realistic view” of prices, and for the fourth consecutive month prices have stayed constant.

“While there is keen buyer interest in properties that are for sale, and choice has improved, prices have remained stable,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.

“Our average selling price across 758 homes in August was $531,042.

“This is consistent with our average selling price for the past four months, which has not varied by more than $10,000.

“This is unusual in terms of price movements, and shows just how stable property values are at present.

“Normally the market is weighted to either buyers or sellers. It is not common for it to be balanced like this for such a long time.

“There are eager buyers, and in historical terms not that many homes are for sale, but this is not affecting the prices on which buyers and sellers are reaching agreement.

“Buyers are not prepared to go beyond what they believe a property is worth, while sellers are not accepting what they consider unrealistic offers.

“The difference between August’s and July’s average price was less than $1000 while the number of homes sold has also been remarkably consistent for the past 5 months.

“In August the difference in the number of homes sold with those for July was 20.

“The number of new listings in August compared to July was an increase of 22.1 percent to 1282. Given the approach of Spring, and the historically low level of new listings in July, this does not represent a major leap in new listings.

At the end of August Barfoot & Thompson had 4764 properties for sale compared to 4830 at the end of July.

Mr Thompson said this August’s trading was stronger than in August last year, with the number of homes sold in the comparative months up 19 percent and the average price up 3.9 percent.

“The overriding sentiment of buyers and sellers is one of taking a realistic view of the state of the economy, and applying that to their decision making.

“Overall, this year we are selling between10 percent to15 percent more homes than last year, with modest increases in prices.”

Mr Thompson said that the arrival of Spring normally led to more activity in the housing market and he anticipated listings to continue to increase with moderately higher sales volumes.