Auckland's largest real estate agency group, Barfoot and Thompson, has reported sales volumes in February of 626, up 7.4 percent from January and up 12 percent from February a year ago. These are the first house sales figures reported for February and suggest a pickup in volume from a very weak January. (Update 1 includes chart). Barfoot and Thompson's average house price in February was NZ$521,323, up 3.2% from January and close to the average for 2009. Barfoot and Thompson Managing Director Peter Thompson said listing volumes surged to 1,714 in February, the highest in almost 2 years. "Given the balanced state of the market sellers need to ensure their price right if they are to sell," Thompson said. See the release below:
The average sales price for the month of February at $521,323 set a record for the month, but an increase in new listings, pushing choice to its highest level in 11 months, sees the Auckland housing market finely balanced. â€œTaken in isolation, February was a solid month,â€™ said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson â€œThe average house price in February increased by 3.2 percent on that in January, and while a seasonal uplift was expected as people returned from the summer break, an average February price close to that for the average for the previous year ( 2009 yearly average: $522,297) has never occurred previously. â€œFor the past two years the average February price has been between $10,000 and $20,000 below the average for the previous year. â€œThe average price was also up 1.7 percent on February 2009. â€œNew listings, at 1714, were our highest in 23 months and currently the number of homes on our books at 6247 is the highest it has been since the end of March 2009. â€œTaken together, these indicators point to a balanced and competitive market
In Auckland, the main driver of buying activity remains owner occupiers, either trading up or moving into the Auckland area, and for these people concerns about any changes in Government policy around housing or any modest interest rate increase are not major deterrents. â€œWe are now entering what is traditionally the most active season for house sales. â€œGiven the balanced state of the market sellers need to ensure their price right if they are to sell.â€ Rentals Thompson said that while the average weekly rent for the month fell by $11 in the month to $390, this was $10 higher than in February 2009.
In February Barfoot & Thompson let 705 houses and units, down 10.1 percent on January and 10.3 percent on February last year. â€œThe rent pattern in recent years has seen Februaryâ€™s rents fall from a high in January, and then edge up again in March and April,â€ said Thompson. â€œThere is a steady demand for rental properties but limited availability across most geographic areas and price ranges. â€œThe area of greatest shortage is in quality, executive homes with three or four bedrooms.â€