Property editor of the NZ Herald

Auckland house sale volumes hit 6-years low, prices hit all-time high

Barfoot & Thompson has released Auckland sales data for the month of February. Photo / NZME
Barfoot & Thompson has released Auckland sales data for the month of February. Photo / NZME

Auckland's biggest real estate agency says house sales volumes have dropped to the lowest monthly total in six years, yet prices have hit an all-time high.

Barfoot & Thompson sold 556 properties last month, down on January's 629, December's 721 and November's 947. Last year's busiest month was in March when 1341 properties were sold, followed by May's 1306.

"Uncertainty about prices dominated the Auckland residential housing market in February, with sales numbers falling to their lowest monthly total in six years, and available choice being at its highest for five years," the agency said.

"The average sales price for properties sold reached a record high of $944,574, marginally higher than the previous record price set in October 2016 of $943,801."

Kiri Barfoot, a Barfoot & Thompson director, said: "Experience has taught us to be cautious about reading too much into a single month's trading results, particularly in February when a good portion of the sales relate to property negotiations that took place over the extended holiday break.

"What is clear from the results is that prices at the top end of the market were not under downward pressure, with the average sales price increasing by 2.6 per cent on the average price for the previous three months.

"Compared to February 2016, the average price was 14.9 per cent higher. Competition for properties around the $1 million mark was strong.

"In February of the properties sold, 187 or a third of all sales, were for in excess of $1 million. Sales numbers for properties sold in excess of $750,000 were also in line with the numbers sold in 2016 and 2015.

Director Kiri Barfoot
Director Kiri Barfoot

"Conversely, sales under $750,000 were down a third on those for 2016 and under half those in 2015.

"The lower number of sales in the under $750,000 price category brought the median price for the month down to $820,000, its lowest level since May 2016.

"The median price in the last three months has declined by 3.1 per cent but remains 11.1 per cent higher than it was 12 months ago," Barfoot said.

A clearer picture would emerge when the March sales data was available early next month, she said.

- NZ Herald

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