August 2017 housing market update

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Time period Number of sales* Total value of sales
August 2017777 properties $714,005,788
August 20161,003 properties $909,279,894
12 months to August 20179,811 properties $9,148,760,208
12 months to August 201612,653 properties $10,868,678,901

*Includes Barfoot & Thompson Auckland residential sales that have gone unconditional. Excludes Northland and commercial sales.

Realism dominates Auckland residential property market

Peter Thompson

The sentiment dominating housing activity in Auckland during August was ‘realism’ on the part of both buyers and sellers.

“For the past six months there have been only minor variations in the pattern of lower sales numbers and prices remaining firm,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.

“In August both the average sales price at $918,926 and median price at $820,000 increased over that for July, but both were down on the average for the previous three months.

“The reality of the situation is that prices are remaining stable, and sales numbers are running at two thirds of where they were 12 months ago.

“Buyers and sellers who accept that reality and are prepared to buy or sell at market are the ones achieving the outcomes they are seeking.

“Those who are looking to get a bargain, or selling at way above market, are missing out.

“The current market is having only a modest impact on the top and lower ends of the market.

“In spite of claims that there are few homes for sale in Auckland at under $500,000, in August we sold 90 properties in this price category, representing 11.6 percent of all sales for the month.

“At the same time, high-end properties continued to sell well with 276 sales, or 35.5 percent of all sales, being for in excess of $1 million. 

“There was no shortage of new property reaching the market, with 1260 new listings in August. While down 15.5 percent on the average number for the previous three months, this is not unexpected one month out from a general election.

“At month end we had 3993 properties on our books, the lowest number for the past six months but still more than a quarter higher than at this time last year.

“It means we enter the general election month with the highest number of properties at the start of a September for 6 years. 

“It provides a good platform for the market to operate from once the election is behind us. 
“With a well performing economy, relatively low mortgage interest rates and strong population growth, there is every reason to anticipate over the medium term the housing market will retain people’s confidence. 

“Prices for rural property in Warkworth and Wellsford to the north of Auckland and in Drury and Pukekohe to the south remain stable, with limited listings holding back sales numbers. The normal spring demand for rural properties is anticipated to return once the election is over.

“Demand remains from active well-financed investors for rural development land.”