Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said yesterday Auckland house sales in February were at their lowest monthly level since the height of the global financial crisis in December 2008.
The agency recorded 474 sales in February, 653 in January. The total of 1127 for the 2 months was down 10.4% from the opening 2 months of 2018.
The median sale price slipped 3.2% from January, while the average sale price slipped 0.9%.
Mr Thompson said auctions remained the most common sales method – two-thirds of auctions in January & February resulted in sales under the hammer or by direct negotiation before or after the auction.
He said unconditional sales figures were “modest”, but the agency signed 250 sales/week in the second half of February, either conditional or unconditional, up 47% on the first 2 weeks of the month.
One reaction to the buyers’ market was that a number of vendors preferred to take their property off the market when they couldn’t achieve their asking price.
“This trend can be seen in February’s data, during which we listed an additional 1563 properties, yet at month end we had 4660 listings on our books, only a 7.5% increase on those for January.
56.8% of the agency’s February sales were for $500,000-1 million and 27.8% for $1-2 million, 12.7% under $500,000 and 2.7% over $2 million.
“Sales of top-end property tend to be lighter at the start of the year, reflecting the low number of new listings over the holiday season. New listings in this price category start to show up in late February & early March.
“Sales numbers in the lifestyle & rural markets were also low in February. Signed-up sales (yet to go unconditional) were stronger in the south of Auckland than in the north, where vendors were more prepared to accept the prices on offer.
“Potential buyers in the lifestyle & rural market are showing an increasing awareness of the effect increasing building costs are having on prices and are seeing existing properties as a good option when compared to buying bare land and building a home.”
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Attribution: Agency release.