Property market dipped in Auckland, New Zealand, in April, latest data shows

Residential property sales in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, have fallen to their lowest level since the 2008 global financial crisis, the latest index report shows.

But the decline in transactions in April has had a limited impact on prices with the median value for a home in the city recorded at $850,000, only $5,500 lower than the median price for the previous three months but still up 3.7% year on year

The data from the Barfoot & Thompson report also shows that the average price at $917,079 was down $25,000 on the average for the previous three months but some 5% higher than a year ago.

‘Sales numbers in April were down by about a third compared with the average for the previous three months, yet given this significant fall the average and median prices held steady,’ said Peter Thompson, managing director of Barfoot & Thompson.

He explained that while prices have declined from March’s all-time record highs, the fall relative to the average for the first quarter of this year is modest, and on a year on year basis median and average prices are still up but the market is different from the same period in recent years.

‘It is a changed market from what we have been experiencing for a number of years and you have to go back nine years to find an April in which fewer homes were sold. Buyers are being far more selective, are taking their time over committing and are only prepared to pay the market price,’ said Thompson.

‘Vendors are not lowering their price expectations significantly but are accepting that to achieve an above market sales price in the current climate their house has to be special,’ he added.

Thompson also pointed out that new listings remain strong, up 48.1% year on year, and combined with lower sales this allowed stock numbers and buyer choice to remain high.

The data also shows that the decline in sales numbers was felt evenly across all price ranges, with more than a third of all sales being for more than $1 million. Sales of property under $500,000 accounted for 6% of all sales.

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