PHOTO: Barfoot & Thompson
The Auckland property market regained some momentum in March with sales numbers nearly doubling on those for February while sales prices remained stable.
“March is the month when sales activity returns to normal after the summer break, and this year’s March trading followed that normal pattern,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.
“Sales for the month at 963 were a healthy increase over the 474 for February, but were still not over the 1000 mark, which is where we have come to expect sales for this month based on the past few years.
“However, this number is a vast improvement on those for January and February, which were among the lowest we have recorded at the start of a year in the past decade.
“The average sales price at $931,673 for March and the median price at $836,000 also showed a marked increase on those in February. However, if you put aside monthly variations and anomalies, sales prices are very much in line with where they have been at for the past 12 months.
“Prices are moving in a fairly tight band and showing no inclination to decline or increase.
“It is a market requiring vendors to have realistic expectations if they want to avoid having their property on the market for longer than average, or eventually accepting an offer lower than an earlier one they declined.
“March’s average price is up 1.9 percent on our average price for the 2018 year and the median price is down 0.1 percent on 2018’s median price.
“New listings in the month at 1571 were the highest they have been for four months but not as high as they have been in March over the past five years.
“The high level of new listings in March contributed to buyer choice being the stand out feature of the Auckland market at present.
“At month end we had 4865 properties on our books and this represents a level of choice not seen since 2011.
“Traditionally as we head into winter, choice tends to become tighter before growing again in spring.
“Sales of property for in excess of $1 million remained strong in March, with a third of all homes sold in the month being in this price segment, with 4 percent of that number being sold for more than $2 million.
“Sales of property for under $500,000 represented 8 percent of sales.
“Lifestyle sales did not track the urban market with sales remaining low, and for the first quarter are down 20 percent on those for the same period last year.
“Buyer interest remains good, but north of Auckland the gap between buyers and vendors expectations is greater than in the south, where the alignment of where buyers and vendors believe the market is at is closer.
“In the lifestyle market the most active price bracket is from $800,000 up to $1.7m.
“In the rural market strong interest persists for market gardening land in Pukekohe but supply is limited while in the Far North kiwifruit properties remain in demand.”