Manukau Courier

Auckland house sales, prices fall

- MIRIAM BELL

Auckland housing market activity cooled further lastmonth, with prices and sales down sharply on recent months, the city’s largest agency says.

Barfoot & Thompson’s latest figures show there were 750 sales across the region, down by 6.4 per cent on the 801 sales in January.

However, it was a decline of 22.3 per cent on the previous three months’ average of 965 sales, and of 33.3 per cent on the 1124 sales in February last year.

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said while sales were down significan­tly yearon-year, last February was exceptiona­lly busy. When compared

House sales and prices in Auckland have declined. with sales figures for the five years between 2016 and 2020 current sales numbers were typical for the early part of the year, he said.

‘‘March sales data will give a better indication as to whether the market is in for amore stable year, as the disruption­s caused by the Christmas break and holiday season will have worked their way out of the sales figures.’’

Prices in the region were also down in February, and that followed a price decline the month before.

Themedian price was down 4.9 per cent to $1.12 million from $1.18m in January, and the average price was down 2.8 per cent to $1.19m from $1.23m.

Thompson said the average price was the fourth-highest on record, while the median price was the sixth highest, and both remained higher than the same time last year, by 11.2 per cent and 11.1 per cent respective­ly.

But the price falls indicated that last year’s aggressive rate of price rises had peaked, he said.

‘‘Price increases are easing back as buyers take amore cautious approach, and a return to amore stable pricing environmen­t might be in sight.’’

There was also a high number of apartment sales, with 21.5 per cent of February’s sales for properties valued at under $750,000. That was up from 18.1 per cent last year.

Rising interest rates and tighter bank lending had combined to take the heat out of the market in the first two months of the year, Thompson said.

‘‘Vendors will also have had time to reflect on the changing price environmen­t, and whether they need to trim price expectatio­ns to achieve a sale.’’

The agency’s figures showed the 1077 new listings were down by 5.1 per cent on January and by 44.5 per cent on the same time last year.

But Thompson said the new listings combined with the lower number of sales had increased the number of properties for sale at month’s end to 4385.

That was the highest number of properties the agency has had for sale atmonth’s end in nearly three years.

‘‘ . . . a return to amore stable pricing environmen­t might be in sight.’’

Barfoot & Thompson

 ?? SIMON SMITH/STUFF ?? Peter Thompson,
SIMON SMITH/STUFF Peter Thompson,

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