Archive | Barfoots

Agency says residential rental growth slowing

Barfoot & Thompson director Kiri Barfoot said on Monday Auckland had experienced the slowest rate of residential rent increases in years.

The agency’s quarterly data from the 16,500 rental properties it manages in the region showed rent increases trended down for most property sizes & areas throughout 2018, and this persisted in the final months of the year with the lowest rates of change yet, she said.

The average weekly rent for a “typical” Auckland rental property – the agency’s biggest category, the 6700 3-bedroom properties it manages – rose by just 3.1% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018.

“In comparison, the same measurement hovered above 4% throughout 2017. We started 2018 at 3.9% and the increases progressively stepped down each quarter from there.”

Ms Barfoot said that, in real terms, this meant a 3-bedroom home in Auckland cost $564/week to rent in December 2018, around $17/week more than it did in December 2017.

“This slower, more steady rate of change is good news for renters, particularly when compared to the increases of $24/week or more that we’ve seen in recent years.

“What remains to be seen is how the market will accommodate the regulatory changes bedding in now, such as the removal of letting fees, as well as potential future changes to come from the Residential Tenancies Act review.

“While rents are still going up, it is unlikely the current rates of increase are keeping pace with landlords’ rising operating & compliance costs. Nor are we seeing the same level of capital gains which were appeasing many landlord’s calculations. We would expect that, eventually, something will have to give.”

Across all property sizes & areas, the average rate of increase in weekly rents was also at its lowest at 3.3% from the third to fourth quarter, moving up just $4 from the September quarter’s Auckland-wide average to sit at $563.

Only 2-bedroom properties outperformed the norm, increasing by 4.3% across all areas, while the increase for 5-bedroom homes fell to 1.5% in the fourth quarter.

In the eastern suburbs on the isthmus & in West Auckland, average prices for 5-bedroom properties decreased, indicating a softening in demand or potential oversupply for this size of property.

The average cost of renting in central Auckland rose the most of any suburb during the quarter, which Ms Barfoot attributed mainly to the number of large luxury apartments pulling in higher weekly rents.

Average weekly rent received across Auckland:

Quarter 4 (October-December) 2018 vs same period 2017

Number bedrooms % change Q4 2017 to Q4 2018
1 2 3 4 5+ Total
Central Auckland $409 $582 $1,108     $507 7.24%
Central suburbs $380 $506 $643 $812 $1,051 $611 3.44%
Eastern suburbs $385 $518 $674 $905 $1,081 $653 3.19%
Franklin/Manukau rural $312 $371 $451 $562 $650 $475 4.45%
North Shore $401 $484 $600 $743 $906 $620 3.83%
Pakuranga/Howick $346 $458 $562 $680 $804 $596 2.91%
Rodney $355 $442 $539 $664 $811 $559 2.20%
South Auckland $310 $414 $502 $604 $728 $502 3.86%
West Auckland $330 $431 $517 $624 $751 $520 3.57%
Auckland $372 $475 $564 $698 $860 $567 3.28%
% change Q4 17 v Q4 18 1.91% 4.34% 3.12% 1.70% 1.47% 3.28%

Table source: Barfoot & Thompson averages for managed tenancies as at end of each month in quarter. Categories with fewer than 4 tenancies aren’t included.

Attribution: Agency release.

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It’s a buyer’s market, says Barfoots chief

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson acknowledged last week – on the agency’s latest residential sales figures – that it’s become a buyer’s market.

“The Auckland property market ended the year edging towards its first decline in prices for 10 years,” he said.

His analysis is supported by Quotable Value Ltd’s monthly index release, out today, which showed the Auckland index just positive (by 0.4%) in the 12 months to November, but has slipped to 0.4% negative in the 12 months to December.

“In the past few months the tide has turned towards it becoming a buyers’ market,” Mr Thompson said. “The overriding market sentiment at present is indecision as to the direction the market is heading.

“A range of factors contributed tomarket uncertainty at year end. These included non-New Zealand residents being restricted from buying certain categories of property, the reported major decline of property prices in the major Australian cities, the potential for capital gains to be applied to investment properties in the future and concerns over world economic stability, in part caused by the trade friction between the US & China.

“The sales data for December masks that trend, but it shows up clearly in the year-on-year figures between 2018 & 2017.

“In December, the point was reached where it was vendors that were prepared to meet the market who were achieving a sale while those holding out for their asking price were not.”

Mr Thompson said residential sales rose 8.1% from 2017 to 2018, but the median price fell 0.8% to $836,792 in 2018 – “the first time the median price has fallen below that for the previous year since 2008, the year the impact of the global financial crisis affected house prices.

“The average 12-month sales price for 2018 at $929,910 is up on that for 2017, but by only 0.4%. Earlier in the year it was tracking between 1-2% above 2017’s average price.”

While the focus has moved from constant price rises, Mr Thompson said the standout feature of 2018 for him was in the under-$500,000 price category, where sales rose from an 8.9% share ofthe agency’s total in 2017 to 11.4%: “This increase can be linked directly to the higher number of apartments, terraced housing & townhouses hitting the market, giving first-time buyers & those on limited incomes far better access to property.”

He said the 555 new listings in December were in line with a year earlier, and the 4194 properties on the agency’s books at year end were also similar: “It will ensure that we start the year’s trading with buyers being offered the highest level of choice for 7 years.”

The figures:

Related story today:
Auckland house price chart turns from just-positive in November to just-negative

Attribution: Agency release.

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Residential market gets lift, but Barfoots chief adds price caution

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said yesterday residential sales, prices & listings all rose in October.

“In comparison with where the market has been for the past 9 months, October trading was extremely active,” he said. “Spring arrived, and the market came alive.

“The average sales price for the month, at $937,277, was the highest this year and up 1.5% on the average for the previous 3 months.

“The same trend is there with the median price, which at $860,000 for the month was also the highest it has been this year (along with that for March) and 3.9% higher than the average for the previous 3 months.

“In part, the increase can be attributed to the traditional upturn that comes with spring, but there was also a newfound confidence that prices were not going to retreat.”

Mr Thompson said the 884 sales for the month were the highest for October in 3 years, available property for sale the highest in 6 years, and new listings the highest for 19 months.

11% of sales were for under $500,000, 32% between $1-2 million, 5% over $2 million.

Despite all that extra life in the market, Mr Thompson cautioned: “The revival of the Auckland housing market is not a signal that the market is ready for another burst of rising prices. What it does signal is that residential property is set for strong trading through to Christmas.

“Contrastingly, the rural & lifestyle market experienced a quiet month’s trading. Prices remained steady with strong listing numbers, particularly in Orewa & Pukekohe.”

Barfoots’ October residential statistics:

Attribution: Agency release.

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Barfoot figures show residential rent rises slowing

Real estate agency & property manager Barfoot & Thompson said yesterday its latest data showed the trend of slower-paced residential rental rises in Auckland continued through the third quarter.

Barfoot’s manages over 16,500 properties in Auckland. Director Kiri Barfoot said the average weekly rent for a 3-bedroom home cost just 3.2% more during the September quarter than it did a year earlier.

“This represents a real cost increase of around $17/week compared to last year. The increase is $2 lower than last quarter and is now the lowest average weekly rent rise that we have observed in well over 2 years.”

The average weekly rent rise for all properties (all bedroom sizes & eligible suburbs) was also lower than the historical norm, up 3.5% year-on-year to $563. This compared to earlier quarterly increases of as much as 4.8%.

Ms Barfoot said central Auckland had the biggest rise due primarily to a growing number of large luxury apartments pulling in higher weekly rents, while demand in West Auckland saw it come in second place with a year-on-year increase just over 5% for the quarter.

The smallest average rises were for homes in Pakuranga & Howick, up 2.2%, and for homes with 5 or more bedrooms, up 2.1%.

Yields rising

Meanwhile, Ms Barfoot said gross rental yields across the city indicated many landlords would be starting to enjoy a rebound in rental returns, despite the slower pace of rent rises: “More than two-thirds of the Auckland suburbs we reviewed this quarter showed an increase in gross yield over the same period last year, with all but a handful sitting above 3% return.

“This follows a period of relatively flat gross yields during 2016 & 2017, and declining yields prior to that, so landlords will be relieved to be making up some lost ground.”

She says this, coupled with low interest rates & a desire to keep properties occupied with good tenants, could be contributing to landlords’ reluctance to raise rents further.

Average weekly rent received in Auckland, Quarter 3 (July-September) 2018 vs same period 2017:

Number of bedrooms % change Q217 v Q218
1 2 3 4 5+ Total
Central Auckland $408 $570 $1076 $496 5.46%
Central suburbs $379 $500 $635 $813 $1,049 $607 3.85%
Eastern suburbs $379 $513 $665 $907 $1,062 $645 2.80%
Franklin/Manukau rural $308 $366 $447 $561 $654 $470 4.70%
North Shore $397 $478 $595 $738 $923 $616 3.99%
Pakuranga/Howick $346 $455 $557 $676 $785 $589 2.16%
Rodney $345 $438 $534 $665 $817 $557 3.40%
South Auckland $310 $408 $499 $597 $724 $497 3.56%
West Auckland $331 $425 $513 $621 $752 $516 5.05%
Auckland $370 $469 $559 $697 $859 $563 3.51%
% change Q217 v Q218 3.08% 4.01% 3.17% 2.64% 2.11% 3.51%

Table source: Barfoot & Thompson averages for managed tenancies as at end of each month in quarter. Categories with fewer than 4 tenancies aren’t included.

Based on statistics from about 16,000 Auckland rental properties managed by Barfoot & Thompson. This includes over 6700 3-bedroom properties, which have been chosen as the standard example to provide the best insight into the ‘typical’ weekly rental price in Auckland.

Gross yields: Average annualised rental income divided by median sale price within the same area. Only suburbs with sufficient sales data for the period were reviewed.

Attribution: Agency release.

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Listings way up but prices hold, says Barfoots chief

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said this week the average price for the agency’s home sales in September was marginally up on August, while the median was marginally down.

New listings were up 28.4% on August and 21% on last September, but Mr Thompson said the increased availability of stock had no impact on price stability.

The average price was up $6000 on the previous 3 months at $929,757 and the median was up $15,000 at $835,000: “The price point at which vendors & buyers are agreeing has barely moved in the past 9 months. The number of property sales in September, at 722, was modest but vendors & buyers will take confidence in the stability of the prices achieved, and this will assist sales numbers as we advance into spring.

“The standout feature of the month’s data was the high number of new listings, which at 1709 was the second highest ever for a September and more than 20% higher than at the same time last year. It is more than 42% higher than the monthly average for the previous 3 months.

“The high number of new listings significantly increased available choice during the month and, at month end, the number of properties on our books was 4515. You need to go back 7 years to find a September when available listings were higher.

“More than 30 percent of all the sales in the month were of properties that fetched a sales price of more than $1 million, with 3% of that number selling for $2 million or more.

“Properties with a sales price of less than $500,000 accounted for 9% of all sales.”

Mr Thompson said sales of lifestyle properties increased markedly north & south of Auckland, at an average $1.36 million.

September August   Previous 3 months, average   September 2017  
Average price  
$929,757   $928,266






Median price  
$835,000   $840,000






722   795







New listings  








Month-end available stock  
4515   4022







Attribution: Agency release.

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Barfoot chief says house price indicators point upwards

Published 7 September 2018
Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson says key price indicators are pointing to Auckland house prices starting to rise.

In the agency’s monthly summary of the residential market, he said: “In August, the average sales price at $928,266 and the median price at $840,000 increased over those for the previous month and were also higher than their equivalents last year.

“Another indicator that prices are edging up is that the average & median prices in August are higher when compared with the average prices paid across May, June & July.

“The increases we are seeing in the market are unlikely to be the forerunner of another seller’s market. Rather, they are an indication that the bottom of the price cycle is likely to have been reached, confidence in prices is returning and that, as spring advances, buying pressure will increase.

“Sales numbers in the month, at 795, were still modest, and down 4.2% on those for July. Traditionally, August is the month when the lowest number of sales are recorded in a year, whether prices are rising, declining or neutral.

“Another positive sign the market is gearing up for a positive spring is new listings hitting 1331, a quarter higher than those for July and 5.6% higher than for the same month last year.

“The number of available listings at month end, at 4022, is the lowest they have been since September last year, and this low number is also likely to have an effect on prices as spring advances.

“During the month, 12.6% of all homes sold were for under $500,000. Sales in this price category have been climbing in the past 6 months and are being affected by the higher number of apartment sales now taking place.

“Properties in the top price ranges continue to find buyers, with nearly a third of all the homes sold in the month being for $1 million or more and, of these, 13% sold for more than $2 million.”

Mr Thompson said prices being achieved for rural & lifestyle properties in August didn’t show the same upward lift as residential property. Listings remained in short supply, but more owners were seeking appraisals.

August July Previous 3 months* August 2017
Average price  
$928,266 $912,487






Median price
$840,000 $810,000






795 830







New listings








Month-end available stock
4022 4115







*Average for 3 months

Attribution: Agency release.

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Barfoot’s sees slowdown in residential rent rises

Barfoot & Thompson said on Wednesday the cost of renting a home in Auckland was rising at the slowest pace in years.

The real estate agency manages nearly 16,000 rental properties and said its quarterly review of weekly rent prices showed the downward trend in the first 2 quarters of 2018 followed a period of steady rises of about 4.3%/quarter throughout 2017, compared to the same quarter a year earlier, and increases of 5% or more during 2015 & 2016.

Director Kiri Barfoot said over 6000 of the rentals the company manages have 3 bedrooms, and it uses them as a standard example: “Renting a typical 3-bedroom home in Auckland between April & June this year cost 3.5% or $19 more/week than it did during the same period in 2017.

“This is the smallest percentage increase in weekly rents that we have observed in at least the last 2 years and is also the first time the average increase has dropped below the $20/week mark.

“This time last year, the average increase in weekly rent on a 3-bedroom home was more like $22, and in 2016 it was as high as $24.

“We are likely seeing the beginning of a ‘new normal’ in rental price trends as landlords strike a fine balance in their pricing in the face of rising operating & compliance costs.”

The average weekly rent for all property sizes is edging downwards in keeping with the three-bedroom example, up 4.0% on the same period last year to $559. This compares to recent year-on-year quarterly increases of between 4.4% and 4.8%.

One-bedroom properties bucked the trend, with continued pressure on weekly rents pushing the June quarter increase up 4.6% over the June 2017 quarter. Properties of other sizes moved in a band between 3.4% & 3.9%.

West Auckland was the only where rent rises exceeded 5%, which Ms Barfoot said reflected the growing popularity of the area among renters.

Average weekly rent, change from Q2 2017 to Q2 2018:

Attribution: Barfoot & Thompson release.

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Barfoot’s sees sales & price dip from June, up from year ago

Barfoot & Thompson house sales fell 8% from June to July and the average price dipped slightly. Compared to a year ago, however, both figures were ahead.

The agency’s monthly sales have exceeded those for the same month in 2017 for 4 consecutive months.

Managing director Peter Thompson said on Friday this price-beating trend (albeit down from June) was stabilising prices: “The average sales price in July, at $912,487, is in fact the highest average sales price we have recorded in a July, although it is down 1.8% on that for June. The median price for the month, at $810,000, is exactly the same as it was in June, and the same as it was for July last year.

“July is traditionally when prices reach their low point for the calendar year and, with sales numbers holding up, the signs are there that not only is the market weathering winter well, it is setting itself up to be active in the coming spring.

“Another pointer to prices remaining stable is that new listings, at 1057 for the month, were down to their lowest level this year, and the trend of declining choice for buyers has been growing since April.

“At 4115 properties at month end, we have the lowest stock levels for 10 months. While still some way above the squeeze felt during the active trading years of 2013-17, available choice is definitely declining.

“Homes for under $500,000 continued to be well represented in the sales figures, with sales in this price segment representing 9.8% of all sales.

“Sales of homes over $1 million represented 32.3% of all sales, with 4.1% of this number achieving a sales price of more than $2 million.

“Sales of lifestyle & rural properties were up 21% on those for June, with solid sales in the Swanson & Pukekohe areas.

“Interest in beef & dairy farms in the far north is higher than normal at this time of the year. With listings being limited, prices for this type of property remain stable.”

Attribution: Agency release.

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Winter impact on residential market negligible, says Barfoots chief

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson (pictured) reckons the onset of winter had a negligible impact on the Auckland residential property market.

“The sales data for June is a mix of up & down numbers but, overall, sales prices & availability remained stable,” he said in his monthly market assessment.

“The average price edged up to $928,842, up 1.1% on that for May, 0.2% higher than the average for the previous 3 months and 1.7% higher than in June last year.

“At the same time, the median price at $810,000 was down 1.2% on May, down 3.2% on the previous 3 months and down 3.6% on that for June 2017.

“It means market prices, which have marked time and came under no pressure to move in one direction or another since the beginning of the year, have entered the winter period in the same state. It is a market environment that is likely to remain constant to the start of spring.

“Sales numbers for June, at 903, were solid for the start of winter and, while as expected were down on the 1027 sales in May, they were 5.6% higher than at the same time last year.

“For the first 6 months of 2018, sales numbers are 6% higher than they were for the first 6 months of 2017, showing market activity is potentially slowly re-emerging.

“New listings at 1210 for the month were modest, and down nearly a quarter on the comparative figure in June last year, but listings at month end, at 4267, were less than 1% lower than those in June last year.

“A feature of the month’s trading was the high number of properties that sold for under $500,000. At 165, it represented 18.3% of all sales.

“While some of these sales would be apartments, it also represents a high number of standalone homes being sold on the outer northern, western & southern suburbs of Auckland.

“Sales of homes for $1 million & $2 million remained strong, with a third of all homes falling within these 2 price categories.”

Mr Thompson said June was the second most active month this year in the rural & lifestyle markets: “In the north interest was being shown in orchards, dairy farms and land for kiwifruit development. Interest in lifestyle blocks around Pukekohe increased, as did inquiries around bare land for development.”

Attribution: Agency release.

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Barfoot’s chief sees confidence & life back in residential market

Auckland real estate agency Barfoot & Thompson achieved 1000 residential sales in May, only the third time in 20 months it’s attained that figure.

Managing director Peter Thompson said today: “The hand brake that was holding back buyers eased in May, and it led to high sales volumes across all price bands.

“It is the second consecutive month that sales numbers have exceeded their equivalents in 2017 and a further sign that the market is coming out of its 12-month hibernation.”

However, the average price fell to its lowest level in 5 months, $918,465, and the median to its lowest price in 3 months, $820,000.

Mr Thompson’s take on these figures: “At current levels, buyers are demonstrating confidence that prices have likely bottomed and vendors are recognising the market is not going to rebound to levels higher than those of 12-18 months ago.

“As we head into the winter months, prices are now on a par with what they were this time 12 months ago, and we can expect price stability for the remaining winter months.

“New listings for the month were excellent at 1455 and up by 7.1% on those for April.”

Mr Thompson said the high sales reduced stock at month end by 2.4% to 4568 homes, but that figure was well up on available stock during the peak 2013-16 price period.

He said 157 homes sold for under $500,000 in May, representing 15.5% of all sales and double the sales in that bracket in April.

One-third of sales were in the price bands above $1 million.

High-end rural & lifestyle properties remained in demand on Auckland’s northern & southern fringes. Mr Thompson said auction, or negotiation shortly post-auction, remained the most effective sales method.

Attribution: Agency release.

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