Auckland house listings, sales up in Feb

Barfoot had 3,988 properties on its books at the end of February, an eight month high. Photo / Herald on Sunday
Barfoot had 3,988 properties on its books at the end of February, an eight month high. Photo / Herald on Sunday

Auckland real estate firm Barfoot & Thompson lifted its property listings and sales last month, which slowed the pace of price rises as more houses were available to meet demand.

New listings climbed 22 per cent to 1,752 in February from a month earlier, while sales advanced 8.8 per cent to 892, the realtor said in statement. Sale prices increased 0.6 per cent to an average $604,164 from January.

"While choice is at its highest since June 2012, it may be a short-term situation as the number of properties for sale still remains at the lower end of the scale over the past decade," managing director Peter Thompson said. "A significant number of new builds have to reach the market before pressure will ease."

The limited supply of affordable housing is being felt most keenly in Auckland where a property bubble is threatening to re-emerge.

That lack of supply has attracted the attention of policy makers who are working through options to increase the amount of land available and to make it more viable for cheaper housing to be built.

Westpac economist Michael Gordon said listings were trending higher from the increase in sale prices, and he expects a 9 per cent lift in nationwide sales prices over the course of the year.

"Our forecast is consistent with the housing boom moving into a mature stage, with the rate of growth in both prices and sales starting to level out," Gordon said in a note. "Even that would be of little comfort to the RBNZ - sustained increases in house prices would exacerbate both the inflationary and financial stability concerns that make up its current Policy Targets Agreement."

Barfoot had 3,988 properties on its books at the end of February, an eight month high.

The real estate firm sold 76 houses for $1 million or more, while 45 per cent of all sales went for less than $500,000.

- BusinessDesk

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