sign up log in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

Barfoot's average price down 8.6% in January from December (Update 1)

Barfoot's average price down 8.6% in January from December (Update 1)

Auckland's largest real estate agency, Barfoot and Thompson, said its average sale price in January was NZ$505,301, down 8.6% from December, but up 0.5% from January 2009. Sales traditionally fell away over the holiday period to 583. This was down from 648 in December, but up 13.2% from a year ago, Barfoots said. (Update 1 includes full release.) Here is the full release from Barfoot and Thompson:

The traditional exodus of people from Auckland over the summer holidays trimmed the average price of homes sold in January, but the sales of homes, both in terms of prices and volume, eclipsed those of January last year. "The average sales price for January of $505,301 was 0.5 percent higher than in January 2009, and the number of sales at 583 was 13.2 percent higher," said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson. "While the average sales price is down 8.6 percent on that achieved in December, this was not unexpected, as there is traditionally a retreat in prices during January. "In 2009 the fall back between January and December was 1.3 percent, in 2008 7.5 percent and in 2007 9.2 percent. "This reflects that the buyers of higher priced properties tend to be away on holiday during January, rather than house prices actually falling. "It's a social factor that can be seen in the data every year. "Another indicator of strong activity was the number of new listings at 1118, up 22.3 percent on December and up 21.1 percent on January 2009. "January is always one of the slowest months of the year, yet in week four of the month we sold 210 homes, 31 more than in week three and 84 more than in week two. "Traditionally, we don't see that type of build up in momentum until February. "2010 has started very positively, and in Auckland at least people are continuing to have confidence and interest in housing. "Our trading in January showed no signs of a reaction to speculation of possible changes in regard to taxation on property. "We would expect that if there is going to be, we would see signs of it in the next quarter. "Until there is greater certainty we would expect the market to remain as normal." At the beginning of February Barfoot & Thompson had 5703 properties on its books, 15.6 percent less than in January 2009, but the highest number at the start of a month for eight months. "Sellers are re-entering the market, and their numbers are slightly higher than buyers, which is keeping choice at a reasonable level and contributing to prices remaining stable," said Thompson. Rentals Weekly rents are on the increase, and the average rent achieved by Barfoot & Thompson in January was $401, up $17 on that in January 2009 and up $12 on that in December. "This is only the second time the average rent has topped $400, the last time being in October 2009 when it rose to $403," said Thompson. "Scarcity of rental accommodation in Auckland is contributing to the average weekly rent increasing. "There are more people looking for accommodation than properties available. "In December, the average weekly rent was $389, but in January we achieved on average rent that was 3 percent higher. "Demand is always high at the beginning of a year as students return to the City, and people follow through on decisions made over the summer break or arrive to take up new jobs. "This year, however, there are more potential tenants than properties on the market, particularly in areas such as the eastern and western suburbs of the City, and the North Shore. "If people see something acceptable they snap it up immediately and are prepared to meet the landlord's asking price. "There is no one reason causing the shortage, rather it's a combination of some landlords selling investment properties, the influx of people into the City pursuing job opportunities, immigration, and fewer tenants relocating. "This is the first time the average weekly rent has exceeded $400 in January, and may be an indicator that rents have moved up to a new benchmark from the mid $380s, where they have been for the past two years." The company rented out 784 properties in January, on a par with the 791 in January 2009 and up 28.3 percent on December.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.