Auckland house prices steady and activity slows

House prices in Auckland have taken a breather with prices having levelled off during December trading.

According to sales data from realtor Barfoot & Thompson, its average sales price was $913,709 last month and the median price   $840,000 — both down for the second consecutive month.

Peter Thompson, the   firm’s managing director says sale prices were not far off the record figures of October and November, but that the average price declined by 2 percent when compared to the average price for the previous three months. The median price dropped 1.8 percent.

The good news for sellers is that while prices have eased there is little sign that prices are under downward pressure – but don’t expect massive capital gains such as  those  seen throughout  2016.

However, Thompson says: “December’s modest price retreat is similar to that which occurred in December 2015 and it took until March for the upward price trend to re-appear.”

New listings at the firm in December were 776 — the lowest in a month for the whole year, but were the highest in a December for five years. This spike in listings may be down to investors cashing up as they saw the tide turn in November, and correctly guessing that interest rates are to rise during 2017. This is already apparent as lenders such as the ASB and KiwiBank raise their fixed rates.

Thompson says
the median price in 2016  was 8.9 percent compared to 17.4 percent in 2015, 11.1 percent in 2014 and 12.6 percent in 2013.

Sales of million dollar properties at Barfoot & Thompson remained strong in December with 282 sold for a million dollars or more, making up 39.1 percent of  the firm’s sales in December. It sold  52 properties for  less than  $500,000, reflecting the low number of properties available at this price point in Auckland.