PHOTO: Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson
The jury remains out in terms of the extent to which the Government’s regulations, introduced in March in a bid to tame the residential housing market, are impacting Auckland.
“April’s trading was excellent with prices edging slightly higher, strong sales and a solid level of new listings,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.
“Some will read into the sales data that the market was barely affected by the Government’s March initiatives while others will see signs that the changes are slowly having their intended impact.
“April’s trading was down on that in March but what needs to be remembered is that there is always a seasonal downturn in trading in April from March, and the trends seen this year are similar to those experienced every year for the past 10 years.
“The average sales price for April at $1,114,054, was 0.6 percent higher than that in March and the median price at $1,050,000 was 0.2 percent higher. In effect, prices remained constant.
“Sales numbers at 1107 were down 40 percent on those for March but were the highest they have been in an April for 19 years.
“New listings for the month were 1675 and while numbers fell 21.7 percent on those for March, they were down 7.9 percent on the number we have averaged over the previous three months. It suggests there was no major influx of new listings from investors abandoning the market.
“At month end we had 3335 properties on our books, our lowest number of properties at the end of April for 5 years.
“Overall, the market is continuing to trade strongly. There is still a high level of uncertainty as to future direction, and this sentiment is likely to remain until any announcements about housing in May’s budget are absorbed.
“Top end property continued to be in high demand during April with 113 sales, or 10.2 percent of all properties, being sold for more than $2 million.
“For the second consecutive month our rural and lifestyle property sales exceeded $100 million.
“The high level of sales achieved in the first quarter of the year sees the lifestyle and rural sectors short of quality listings. Buyer enquiry has eased back on where it was at the start of the year but remains active.
“Land for development and subdivision remains in demand while strong interest continues for dairy and horticultural farms.”