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Auckland Property Market Slows

Media Release

8 February 2006

Auckland Property Market Slows

Auckland’s property market cooled during January according to sales figures released by Auckland’s leading real estate firm Barfoot & Thompson showing the number of sales made was the lowest in five years.

Barfoot & Thompson has the largest market share in Auckland so its sales figures are a key indicator of real estate trends. The company recorded 797 sales in January, the slowest start to the year since January 2001. This followed a slow December where 671 sales were recorded, well below the company average of about 1,000 a month. Prices followed the trend, with a 13 percent decline in average sale price from $492,882 in December to $428,385 in January and a 9 percent decline year on year.

Director Peter Thompson says, “Last year’s interest rate rises may be coming home to roost, but the result was also possibly influenced by the school holiday period stretching into February coupled with two back to back holiday weekends. The launch of some property marketing campaigns may have been held off until the working year was back into full swing.”

“It’s noticeable that the slowdown is largely affecting the upper half of the market. Last year 21.4 percent of all properties we sold were for $750,000 or above – compared to 18 percent in January. It’s a similar picture with properties over a million dollars. Last year they represented 12.9 percent of our sales, but that figure was 10.7 percent for the first month of this year.”

Mr Thompson says the market is clearly tightening and one of the key messages to vendors is that now more than ever they will need the services of a qualified and experienced real estate salesperson to get them the best possible price for their property.

“The professional marketing of properties will be crucial for vendors who will be vying for the eye of larger pool of choosier buyers. Barfoot & Thompson’s Auckland market leadership, unrivalled team of more than 900 qualified salespeople and exclusive marketing channels can reach more potential buyers faster. And when the right buyer has been identified vendors will benefit from the superior negotiation skills of our experienced salespeople to close the deal.”

On the property management front, January is always one of the busiest months of the year as students seek accommodation and the past month was no exception. 766 houses and units were let for a record average weekly rent of $348, up from $347 in December.


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