Auckland prices up, rents flat

A leading Auckland real estate agent says that house prices growth contines, but rents remain static.

Thursday, March 8th 2007, 12:00AM

by The Landlord

The latest monthly sales data from Auckland real estate agent Barfoot and Thompson shows that the market is still strong.

It says the number of sales in February was 34% higher than a year ago at 989 dwellings sold.
The average sales price jumped from $475,000 in January to $504,000 and was ahead 8.6% from a year earlier.

A key indicator in its monthly sales figures is the number of listings and the ration of sales to listings.
At the end of the month there were 4,316 listings at the end of the month which was 18.4% fewer than a year earlier.

This took the ratio of sales to listings in the month to 22.7% from 13.9% in February.

Barfoot and Thompson says 17.5% of sales were for $1 million or more compared to 12.8% in January.
In other premium property activity it recorded one of the highest figures in five years for homes sold for $750,000 or more with this category making up 27.5% of all sales.

“A week by week analysis of the month shows that activity levels built steadily as February progressed. The high sales figures for the upper end of the market are very encouraging so early in the year and are indicative of the strength of the current market and the commitment of our agents to servicing both vendors and buyers to a consistently high standard,” director Peter Thompson says.

he Auckland rental market overall returned to normal activity levels after a particularly busy start to the year. There were 663 fresh lettings for an average weekly rental of $357 compared to $362 in January.”
Overall rentals are only 2% ahead of a year earlier.

This shows that while there are stories of rental property shortages this is not translating into accelerating growth in average rents it seems.

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