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Auckland Housing Market Slow In November, But Not In Full Retreat

The Auckland housing market experienced its quietest month’s trading for a November in 12 years but was far from being in full retreat in the face of rising mortgage interest rates, the return of inflation and low consumer economic confidence.

“In November, the median sales price at $1,065,000 eased down 2.2 percent on the average median price over the past three months but the 700 homes sold in the month was the highest for the past six months,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.

“Property is selling, albeit at a level lower than at the same time last year. What it demonstrates is vendors and buyers are reaching an agreement as to where prices are at.

“November’s median price is down 14.1 percent on the peak median price ever recorded in November last year but has remained stable for the past three months.

“The average price for the month, at $1,153,795, which is more influenced by sales in the top price categories, tells a different story.

“November’s average sales price is down only 9.8 percent on the peak average price, recorded in December last year.

“November’s average price increased over that for October by 1.5 percent.

“The average sales price in November was influenced by a return of buyers to the $2 million and over price sector and the number of sales in the under $750,000 price category. Many of the buyers in the lower-price sector would have been first-time buyers.

“In November we sold 64 properties for more than $2 million, 19 of them being for more than $3 million. This is the highest number of homes valued at more than $3 million we have sold in a month for 6 months.

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“At the same time, we sold 125 homes for under $750,000, or 17.9 percent of all the homes sold.

“New listings for the month at 1577 were down significantly on those for November in the past few years but were nonetheless solid.

“At month end we had 5052 homes on our books, the highest number for any month for 11 years.

“Buyer choice in Auckland has rarely been greater in recent times.

“The lifestyle and rural markets experienced their best month’s trading in four months although trading was modest compared with where it was at this time last year.

“Interest in lifestyle properties around Pukekohe was strong with sales prices ranging between $1 million to $3 million. Vendors are again showing interest in testing the market by selling via auction or tender rather than by listed price.

“In the far north, the main focus during the month was on coastal lifestyle and existing homes.”

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