Auckland housing market perks up in March, says Barfoot & Thompson
By Rebecca Howard
April 5 (BusinessDesk) - The Auckland residential property market showed some signs of life in March with sales reaching their highest point in 12 months, according to the city's largest realtor.
The average sale price for March was $931,292, up 1.3 percent on February’s average, but still down 3.8 percent versus the same month a year ago, Barfoot & Thompson said in a statement. The median sales price at $860,000 was up 4.9 percent versus February but down 4.4 percent on the year.
Sales, however, reached 1,064, the highest since March last year and the first time in 12 months that monthly sales have been above 1,000, the realtor said. However, while they were up 60 percent versus February, they were down 4.1 percent compared to March a year ago.
While sales in March tend to be higher than holiday-affected January and February the figures show that "prices remain rock steady and that buyers have re-entered the market," said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.
Auckland's heated housing market had shown some signs of cooling after Reserve Bank restrictions on more highly-leveraged mortgage lending and government policies to restrict the sale of homes and property to residential investors.
Thompson said, however, while there was some rebound in March the "figures can not be read as the start of a new cycle of price increases. However, they do demonstrate that buyers are prepared to meet current prices."
Property sales in the month were spread evenly across all price categories, with 11 percent of sales being for properties that sold for under $500,000. Of the total, 396 sold for more than $1 million and 78 sold for more than $2 million.
The number of new listings in the month was 1,689, down 3.3 percent versus February and down 14.8 percent on the year.
There were 4,814 available listings at month end, the highest in four months and up 9.1 percent versus March 2017.