Slowdown in Auckland property market confirmed by latest figures

After seven years of constantly rising prices the housing market in Auckland, New Zealand, has seen the rate of price rises slowing, according to the latest data to be published.

The signs of a slowing market have been there for some time, according to the figures from real estate firm Barfoot and Thompson, but the data for November confirms the downward trend.

The figures show that the average sales price for a home was down 1.1% month on month to $933,130, just 1.1% higher than the average price for the previous three months.

The data also shows that the median price of $850,000 was down 1.7% in November compared to October and was down 0.6% on the median price for the previous three months.

According to Peter Thompson, managing director of Barfoot and Thompson the data points to the Auckland housing market ‘turning’ but it remains well positioned to achieve a soft landing.

‘Signs the rate of price increase has been slowing have been there for some months but what puts November’s lower prices into context is that November and December are traditionally when prices peak for the year, and this is the first time in eight years that November’s average and median sales prices have been below those for the previous October,’ he explained.

He pointed out, however, that it is encouraging that new listings at 1,879 have been strong and sales numbers at 947, while down marginally on the same month last year, were sound and up 21.7% on those in October.

‘The market is not over reacting to the changes occurring. Clearance rates under the hammer at auctions were 30% in November with another 20% being sold in the 24 hours following auction. Those sellers who were realistic and prepared to trim their reserve price achieved sales and buyers were confident in meeting near record prices,’ Thompson added.

The firm now has 3,881 properties on its books as of the end of November so properties for sale are at their highest since February 2013.

The data shows that sales of properties in excess of $1 million remain strong, with 377 or 39.8% of all sales exceeding the $1 million mark, marginally higher than the 39.2% $1 million sales recorded in October. Properties sold for under $500,000 at 73 made up 7.7% of sales.

Thompson pointed out that last year the number of properties sold increased by 40% over those for 2014 and the value of sales increased by 60% and sales values and numbers have remained stable throughout 2016, and have held on to the percentage gains of last year.

‘Strong new listings, particularly from the rural area to the south of Auckland, ensured a steady supply of new properties came to market in November,’ Thompson added.