Auckland median house price slips to $810,000 in June, Barfoot says
By Tina Morrison
July 4 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland's residential property market slowed in June, with fewer new listings and a slip in the median price, according to the city's largest realtor.
The median price fell 1.2 percent to $810,00 from May, and was down 3.6 percent from June last year, Barfoot & Thompson said in a statement. Sales volumes fell 12 percent to 903 compared with May as the country headed into winter, although volumes were 5.6 percent higher than June last year. The 1,210 new listings in the month were 17 percent lower than May and 23 percent below June last year.
The heated housing market in New Zealand's largest city has shown 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. Still, sales numbers for the first six months of 2018 were 6 percent higher than the same period in 2017, showing market activity is potentially slowly re-emerging, the realtor said.
"Sales activity continues to show signs of stabilising, while sellers remain more cautious," ASB Bank economist Kim Mundy said in a note. "New and total listings declined for the second month in a row, but with the numerous competing forces impacting the market currently it remains too early to tell whether this trend will continue.
"June’s data reaffirm the fact that while buyers might be tentatively returning to the market, sellers remain particularly cautious," she said. "Volatility in housing market data is likely to continue in coming months as uncertainty over legislative changes and affordability constraints compete with still-strong population growth and ongoing housing shortages in our larger cities.
"Looking further ahead, the outlook is for mild lifts in Auckland house prices over the remainder of the year as sales activity continues to firm. However, there is a risk that activity cools further following the implementation of the ban on foreign buyers and we will be monitoring data closely in the coming month."
Barfoot said a high number of properties sold for under $500,000 in the month, with the 165 sales representing 18.3 percent of all sales, up from 15.5 percent in May. Sales of homes for $1 million and $2 million "remained strong", with a third of all homes falling within these two price categories, the realtor said.
The average sale price for June edged up 1.1 percent to $928,842 from May and was 1.7 percent higher than June last year, Barfoot & Thompson said.
The realtor said it had 4,267 properties available for sale at the end of the month, down 6.6 percent on May and 0.7 percent than June last year.