Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson says the strong end to trading in the Auckland housing market in December lifted sales to their highest level in 4 years and kept prices close to the levels achieved in November.
“Based on year-end trading, the Auckland housing market is set for an active late summer & autumn selling season,” he said in the agency’s monthly market review, issued on 8 January.
In a review of full-year performance, Mr Thompson said the Auckland property market had been stable in 2019 – listings & sales down, but average & median sale prices up marginally through the year until October, then jumping in the last 2 months: “It is this late surge in prices that has changed the public’s perceptions as to where the property market is now heading.”
“In November, prices increased significantly, with sales numbers remaining modest. In December it was the reverse, with sales numbers moving significantly and with prices holding onto most of November’s gains. The market is the most buoyant it has been at this time of the year for 3-4 years.
“We sold 777 properties in December, in excess of 50% more than we sold in the same month last year. You would have to go back to 2014 for December sales numbers to be significantly higher.
“The average selling price for the month, at $949,092, is the third highest monthly sales price on record, and the median price for the month, at $865,000, is the third highest for the past 24 months.
“Buyers have reached the point where they realise the market is potentially ready to move forward and are acting decisively.
“New listings for the month, at 682, were excellent for a December, the highest for this month for 3 years.
“The strong December performance has left the market extremely short of stock, and at month end we had only 3191 properties on our books, the lowest number in any month for more than 4 years. Properties for sale were 13.8% lower than in the previous month and limited stock is holding back sales activity.
“The rural & lifestyle market ended the year relatively quietly. While sales numbers for the month were up compared to the same month last year, prices did not follow the trend being experienced in the urban areas at year end.
“New listings in the rural & lifestyle market were strong towards year end, improving available choice, which had been restricted earlier in the year.”
Assessing the year-end surge
For its annual comparison, Barfoot & Thompson has averaged monthly prices, sales & stock.
“In 2019, the average number for new listings on a monthly basis (1226 versus 1413 for 2018), listings at month end (4086 v 4486) & sales (777 v 805) were lower than for 2018. It shows fewer homes came to market, choice was more restricted and fewer sales were made.
“At the same time, the average price on a monthly basis in 2019, at $933,259, was up 0.4% and the median price, at $839,250, was up 0.3% on those for 2018.
“However, when the average & median prices for the last 2 months of the year are compared, the average monthly price in that period is 1.3% higher and the average monthly median price is 1.7% higher.”
Attribution: Agency release.