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Property sales in Auckland, New Zealand, see steep fall at end of 2015

The average sales price for December at $869,492, down 0.8% on November's record average price while the median price rose to an all-time high of $800,000, up 0.6% on that for November, according to data from Barfoot and Thompson

‘From a price perspective, the market was rock steady but sales data for the final month of 2015 is sending mixed messages as to where the market will head in 2016,’ said Peter Thompson, the firm’s managing director.

The data reveals that sales for the month at 796 were 19.3% lower than in November, and it was the lowest number of sales in a December for four years. December's sales were also the lowest in any month for the past 22 months.

While in December new listings at 757 were down 555 on those in November, Thompson explained that this level of decline is quite normal and they were the highest in a December for four years.

‘The factor most likely to impact on January sales was the extremely low number of listings at the end of December which, at 2431, was down 25.2% on those in November, and the lowest number for any month for more than 20 years,’ he said.

‘With a growing population and the number of new builds failing to keep pace with demand, competition for properties is likely to remain strong in the first quarter of 2016. January's sales data is always influenced by the summer holiday period, and it is likely to be the middle of March, when February's sales data is available, that a clearer understanding of prospects for 2016 emerge,’ he pointed out.

‘What is clear, however, is that with so few properties on the market, now is an excellent time to list,’ he added.

The figures also show that in December some 278 properties sold for in excess of $1 million and a further 202 for in excess of $750,000. Sales of properties in the under $500,000 price category at 44 made up 5.5% of all sales.

In 2015, the average sale price of homes for the full year was $817,096, an increase of 14% on that for 2014 and 25.8% over 2013's average sales price. The median price for 2015 was $755,333, some 17.4% higher than 2014's median price and 30.5% higher than that for 2013.