Sales in New Zealand’s biggest housing market in Auckland bounced back in November

Residential property sales in New Zealand’s biggest housing market in Auckland bounced back in November after two months of slowing growth, the latest index shows.

It means that the Auckland market is holding firm and buyers are returning, according to Kiri Barfoot, a director of Barfoot & Thompson real estate agents.

The market saw the highest number of monthly sales since August and November’s sales were 9.7% higher than the average sales number for the previous three months.

The index also shows that both the average price at $913,244 and the median price at $830,000, were down on their equivalents in November last year but Barfoot explained that this was when the market was close to reaching its peak.

‘This November’s trading is a sure sign that at current values buyers are returning to the market. New listings are continuing to reach the market, a third higher than the average over the previous three months,’ she added.

She also pointed out that there is now a quarter more properties on the market than at the same time last year and the number at the end of November totalled 4,838, the highest for more than five years.

At the high end of the market, buyers are still seeing value in property at current prices with a significant rebound in the number of properties sold for in excess of $1 million. Some 55 properties were sold for in excess of $2 million and a further 262 for in excess of $1 million, the highest number of high end property sales since May.

‘Even during the height of activity in 2016, sales of 55 properties for in excess of $2 million would have been regarded as an excellent month,’ said Barfoot.

A similar pattern of activity was seen in the lifestyle and rural sectors with sound sales numbers in Mangawhai and Wellsford in the north and in Pukekohe and Papakura to the south. Properties valued in excess of $2 million attracted strong interest.

There were 62 rural and lifestyle properties sold in November, the highest in a month since March and during the month at a Pukekohe lifestyle property auction 5% of the properties sold on an unconditional basis.

‘Interest from local developers and land bankers is returning, but there is still a degree of hesitancy as they await a clearer understanding of future government policy,’ Barfoot added.

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