Auckland house market shows unmistakable signs of slowing
For the first time in five years the housing market in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest urban area, is showing signs that prices are stabilising, and may even be slowing.
The average price in July was $867,681, a fall of 4.5% from the previous month and 2% below the average price for the previous three months, according to the latest data from Barfoot & Thompson.
The trend is not as evident in the median price, which at $840,000 was the same as in June, and 2.1% higher than the median price for the previous three months.
‘There has been a definite change in the market in the last month. The winter months, school holidays and a slowing in the number of new listings all contributed to the slowdown in July, but buyer determination to pay whatever is necessary to achieve a property was tempered,’ said Wendy Alexander, chief executive officer of Barfoot & Thompson.
‘Buyers remain prepared to pay a fair price, and under the hammer sales at auctions of 70% were still high, but sales activity is slower than it was at the same time last year. In the three months May to July this year we sold 3,508 properties. In the same period last year we sold 3780, a 7.8% difference,’ she explained.
She pointed out that the year on year increase in prices is still occurring, but at a much slower rate than in the past four years. The average price has increased by 5.3% over the past seven months compared to 2015’s full year average price increase of 14%.
Meanwhile, the median price increase over the past seven months has been 6% compared to 17.4% for 2015.
‘Whether price increases will continue in the remaining months of the year is unclear. Normally, prices rise as we enter the spring/summer months, but the Reserve Bank’s new regulations affecting investors will start to have an impact from August,’ said Alexander.
The data also shows that in July Barfoot & Thompson sold 1,034 properties, down 11.5% on the number in June and down 25.5% on those for the same month last year. New listings at 1,426 were down 19.4% on those in June and down 19.6% for those in July last year.
At end of the month the firm had 3,012 properties on its books, some 2.6% higher than in June and 7.5% higher than in July last year.
During July the firm sold 383 properties, or 37% of all sales, for more than $1 million and sold 94 properties, or 9.1% of sales, for under $500,000.