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Barfoot sales increase in November, average price falls (updated)

Barfoot sales increase in November, average price falls (updated)

Auckland real estate agents Barfoot and Thompson reported a slight increase in sales in November from October, as the average sale price dropped. However, buyers remained cautious through the month, using auctions as a means to see where the market was, Managing Director Peter Thompson said. (Updated to include rental figures). November sales rose to 546 from 503 in October, but were still well down from 881 in November 2007. Barfoot's average sale price dropped 3.7% to NZ$500,840 in November from NZ$520,040 in October. In November 2007 the average sale price was NZ$546,364. Thompson said that the average sale price in the year to November 2008 was NZ$514,000. Although there was an increase in sales, Thompson said that buyers remained cautious and were still holding back, often using auctions as a means to see where the market was and then negotiating prices post-auction. "Our auction rooms have been full during November, but buyers are very cautious and holding back on committing themselves," Thompson said, adding that the 150 basis point cut in the OCR would give a boost to the housing market.

"Today's cash rate cut may be just the confidence booster buyers need to make a move." Thompson said that the auction clearance rate during November was about 35% under the hammer and more than 50% by the end of the week following auction day. "Buyers seem to be waiting to see what price is set in the auction room and are then willing to negotiate post-auction." Barfoots said they had signed up 660 new rental listings in November, and that the average weekly rent for properties they monitored had fallen slightly in November to NZ$381 per week from NZ$385 in October.

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