Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said in his monthly market report on Monday that the start to 2018 was steady – sales low, but prices agreed that were consistent with those in the last quarter of 2017.
“This stable trading trend first emerged in April last year and has rolled over to the start of the new year. In January, the average price for sales was $934,753, 1.5% higher than the average for the previous 3 months, while the median price at $830,000 was 1.6% lower than the average for the previous 3 months. Variations of 1.6% or less across a 4-month period represent very little change.
“Sales numbers at 593 were light for the month, down 13.8% on the average of the previous 3 months and down 5.7% on those for January last year. However, given January’s short & holiday-interrupted trading period, caution needs to be attached to drawing strong conclusions from the month’s sales.
“Sales of home in the high-end categories of $2 million at 27 and $1 million at170 were consistent with the number of sales in these price categories in January last year. Sales of properties for under $500,000 fell from 13% of all sales in January 2017 to 8% of sales in January 2018.
“New listings in January, at 1200, were strong and were 5.1% higher than in January last year.
“At the end of the month we had 4320 properties on our books, the highest number of listings at the end of January for 6 years.
“Auctions continued to be the main sales method, with clearance under the hammer averaging 50%.
“The outlook for residential housing for the first half of 2018 is positive. With prices having plateaued, stable mortgage interest rates and the potential that greater access to mortgage finance will be made available to first-time buyers & those on limited income, sales numbers can be expected to grow as we head into the traditionally strong February-August sales period.
“The same situation exists for rural & lifestyle property sales. With buyers being selective & taking their time, sales activity in this sector was quiet in January. There was a strong level of buyer interest, and a solid level of quality new listings, including a number of dairy farms.
“Interest in small to medium-sized commercial property was strong in January, and our sales for the month at $78 million were the highest on record for the month of January.”
Attribution: Agency release.