Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Agency sells 189 homes costing $1m-plus in hot November

Barfoot & Thompson said the month before Christmas was always active. Photo / File
Barfoot & Thompson said the month before Christmas was always active. Photo / File

Average Auckland house prices rose $21,523 last month and one agency had its best November on record - selling 189 $1 million-plus houses.

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson issued figures showing October's $663,123 average sale price rocketed up to $684,646 last month.

He said the month before Christmas was always active.

"What has to be factored into November's sales figures is that it is traditionally one of the strongest trading months of the year, particularly for high-end homes," he said.

However, the overall number of sales dropped. Barfoot sold 1,203 properties in October and 1,118 last month, a 7.1 per cent drop.

Mr Thompson said the Reserve Bank lending restrictions were not hurting prices but had an effect on the number of sales.

Westpac senior economist Michael Gordon said the effect of Reserve Bank restrictions on home loans was always expected to become apparent from November so the new figures delivered on that expectation.

"There was an even sharper drop in new listings, down 17.7 per cent for the month, suggesting that property owners have been reluctant to sell in a market that has become more uncertain.

"As a result, the stock of homes available for sale fell for the first time in four months."

ASB economist Daniel Smith said the number of sales was were still on a par with activity levels of this time last year.

"The November decline in sales could be partly due to the recently introduced restrictions, but given that sales have come off that elevated level it is not clear cut what the impact might be."

Barfoot says it will take several more months the effect of the Reserve Bank change to become clear.

Mr Smith said fewer houses were being sold at auctions, although many properties passed in at auction did subsequently sell after negotiation.

He suggested mortgage restrictions were probably limiting the flexibility of buyers to buy at auctions.

- NZ Herald

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