Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Auckland house sales dip in June

Photo / Chris Gorman
Photo / Chris Gorman

Auckland's biggest real estate agency has this morning released sales data for June, showing a slight decline in sales volumes but average sale prices up $11,088 in the 30 days - which equates to a daily price rise of $369.60.

Barfoot & Thompson, which sells one in every three places in the city, sold 1037 residential properties in June, down from 1109 the month before.

The onset of winter has not affected selling prices, and the average sales price in June was $714,054, the second highest average price on record and up 1.6 per cent on May's average price, Barfoot said.

As is normal for this time of the year, sales numbers and new listings fell during the month but the luxury end of the market did not suffer.

At 179, the number of $1 million plus homes sold during the month was "exceptional". Sales in this category represented 17.3 per cent of all homes sold and 35.9 per cent of the total sales value of all homes sold.

"This contributed to the lift in the average selling price over that for May being $11,000," Barfoot said.

"While supply continues to lag behind demand, the value of high end homes will climb. Close to a third of all the homes sold during the month were for less than $500,000, and contributed to the median selling price for June at $626,500 being 2.9 per cent below that for May."

Barfoot & Thompson: average Auckland house prices for 2014:
January - $647,207
February - $678,533
March - $725,708
April - $708,603
May $702,966
June $714,054

ASB Bank economist Daniel Smith said the June data shows another increase in housing market activity in seasonally-adjusted terms.

"Sales activity appears to have bottomed out for now at the Easter/ANZAC-affected low in April. Sales volumes are still below the level seen before the LVR restrictions came into effect in October 2013, but do not appear to be falling any further - in fact June sales were only 2 per cent lower than in the same month last year."

Smith said that the dip in new listings suggested that the flow of homes coming onto the market remained fairly low.

"Supply constraints have eased slightly over the last year, with total listings currently around 14 per cent higher than a year ago. That has been due to a slight decline in sales and a small lift in listings. The key words there are "slight" and "small" - the number of homes on the market remains exceptionally low by historical standards," said Smith.

Smith said that it was difficult to pick the direction of the housing market over the next year or two.

"On one side of the equation we have the LVR restrictions and rising interest rates. But on the other we have very strong migration inflows (particularly in Auckland) and a level of supply that has risen only marginally since mid-2013."

On balance, said Smith, he expected house prices to continue rising in the Auckland and Canterbury regions, but not at the pace seen over 2012-13.

"The pickup in sales activity over the last couple of months supports that theory. Demand is unlikely to drop off significantly while migration is so strong and fixed-term mortgage rates remain lower than the Reserve Bank might like due to offshore factors."

Smith said that was one reason why the Reserve Bank would continue lifting the OCR. He expected another 25 basis points hike this month, followed by a pause until late in the year when hikes would resume.

See the release here:

- NZ Herald

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