Both sellers and buyers in Auckland, New Zealand, realistic about the housing market

Both sellers and buyers in New Zealand’s biggest housing market in Auckland are more realistic about their aspirations, according to the latest property report.

For the past six months there have been only minor variations in the pattern of lower sales numbers and prices remaining firm, according to the data from real estate agents 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,’ said Peter Thompson, managing director of Barfoot & Thompson.

‘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,’ he added.

He pointed out that in spite of claims that there are few homes for sale in Auckland at under $500,000, in August the firm sold 90 properties in this price category, representing 11.6% of all sales for the month. At the same time, high end properties continued to sell well with 276 sales, or 35.5% of all sales, being for in excess of $1 million.

The report also shows that there was no shortage of new property reaching the market, with 1,260 new listings in August. While this is down 15.5% on the average number for the previous three months, it is not unexpected one month before the general election.

At end of the month the firm had 3,993 properties for sale, 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 six years,’ said Thompson.

‘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,’ he added.

He also pointed out that 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,’ he added.

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