Auckland house prices still simmering

Real estate data from two industry organisations shows a conflicted picture of Auckland house prices — with one saying they are softening and the other pointing to rises.

QV says the average value in the Auckland region is $918,153, whereas Realestate.co.nz says it’s $832,713 — a more than $85,000 difference. The disparity is probably down to QV basing its figures on actual sales, and Realestate.co.nz using sellers’ asking prices — it could be the first hint of a softening market.

QV Homevalue operations manager northern Jan O’Donoghue, says uncertainty caused by the introduction of rules aimed at curbing investors in Auckland could be disrupting the market.

“Some reports have auction clearance rates at lower than 50 per cent,” she says. “However, most properties are still selling by negotiation afterwards, so this could be due to sellers setting their expectations too high — realistically priced properties are still selling under the hammer.

“Sales volumes remain more than 30 per cent higher than this time last year, so despite reports of fewer people attending open homes and auctions, homes are still selling well across the city.”

BNZ economist Tony Alexander says anecdotal evidence of fewer people attending open homes, fewer sales at auctions, and evidence of falling prices “is not likely to be the start of a downward trend”.

He believes the fundamentals strongly support prices going higher but he also notes that Chinese buyers have  backed off as they see a lengthening series of small roadblocks put in their way.

Brendon Skipper, CEO of Realestate.co.nz says October saw 13,405 new properties listed for sale, 12 per cent more than in September. Nevertheless, he says the  total number of properties on the market  is lower than ever.

Trusted agents
A survey carried out by Nielsen for the Real Estate Agents Authority shows two-thirds of those surveyed are confident the real estate industry is professional (65 per cent), just over half believe it is well regulated (55 per cent) and 51 per cent feel the industry is fair.

Among those who have taken part in a real estate sale or purchase,  at least eight in 10 rated their real estate agent favourably for their industry knowledge, professionalism and honesty.