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Shaking off the summer lull

Mixed results in new Barfoot & Thompson data suggest the Auckland market may be slowly stirring from its recent slumber.

Thursday, March 3rd 2016, 11:39AM

by Miriam Bell

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson

While the city’s average sales price was up slightly in February, as compared to January, its median price was down, according to Auckland’s biggest real estate agency.

The average sales price rose by 1.3% to come in at $822,024, as compared to $811,700 in January.

Conversely, the median price dropped by 2.9% to $738,000, from $760,000 in January.

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said that, while Auckland’s house prices have retreated from the record prices set in the second half of 2015, they are still higher than they were at the same time last year.

January’s average sale price was up 10% on that of February last year, while January’s median price was up 7.5% on last February’s.

In Thompson’s view, this could signal that the Auckland market’s slowdown may be a temporary one.

He said that, based on past trends, house prices in coming months are likely to build modestly.

“Over the past nine years Auckland house prices have followed a cycle of falling in the first quarter of the year and then rising from autumn on.

“We have now had two months of trading where prices have been higher than they were in their equivalent months last year, and in the past that has meant prices have risen throughout the year.”

He added that the average and median prices could have been affected by a relatively low number of sales in the $1 million plus category over the summer period.

“Sales of properties for under $500,000 in February made up 20.6% of all sales, whereas throughout last year they averaged 14.9% of sales.”

Meanwhile, sales activity hit a record low for Barfoot & Thompson in February, with just 698 properties sold – which was the lowest amount sold in any month for three years.

Thompson said this was because, at the start of the month, the number of properties on the market was at its lowest number for 20 years, leaving buyers with very limited choice.

However, over the course of the month, listings with the agency increased significantly.

“At months end we had 3,318 properties on our books, the highest since March last year, and we anticipate an extremely busy period through autumn,” he said.

The Barfoot & Thompson data follows hot on the heels of the latest data from QV and realestate.co.nz – all of which combine to suggest the Auckland market’s slowdown might not last.

Realestate.co.nz’s data had Auckland bouncing back to a new record average asking price, while QV’s data showed Auckland values are down for the second consecutive month.

But QV’s national spokesperson Andrea Rush said that, in recent weeks, activity levels have started to pick up across the SuperCity, so it was possible the drop in values may be short lived.

« Softening market may be short-livedAffordability not the problem »

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 4.55 2.55 2.69 2.79
ANZ 4.44 3.15 3.25 3.39
ANZ Special - 2.55 2.69 2.79
ASB Bank 4.45 2.55 2.69 2.79
Bluestone 3.49 3.49 3.49 3.49
BNZ - Classic - 2.55 2.69 2.79
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 3.15 3.29 3.39
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
CFML Loans 4.95 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
Credit Union Auckland 5.45 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
Credit Union South 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 2.95 3.45 -
Heartland 3.95 2.89 2.97 3.39
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 3.85 3.95 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.45 2.60 2.65
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 3.69 2.45 2.65 2.79
Kainga Ora 4.43 2.93 3.07 3.24
Kiwibank 3.40 3.30 3.54 3.54
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.55 2.79 2.79
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.45 3.49 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Resimac 3.39 3.35 2.99 3.35
SBS Bank 4.54 3.05 3.19 3.25
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank Special - 2.55 2.69 2.75
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 2.55 2.69 2.79
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 3.05 3.19 3.29
TSB Bank 5.34 3.29 3.45 3.59
TSB Special 4.54 2.49 2.65 2.79
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.55 3.49 -
Westpac 4.59 3.15 3.29 3.39
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - 2.55 2.69 2.79
Median 4.55 3.00 3.13 3.02

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