Auckland's largest real estate agency group, Barfoot and Thompson, has reported a fall in house sales in July from June to a level 17.3% below sales a year ago.
But it reported a 2.2% increase in the average house sale price to NZ$534,389 in July from June, due to a larger number of houses selling in the bracket over NZ$750,000.
These are first figures to be reported for July and suggests another weak month for sales in the wake of property tax changes in the May Budget and the two Official Cash Rate Increases over June and July.
Quoteable Value and REINZ are expected to release national value, sales and volume figures for July over the next 10 days.
Barfoot and Thompson Managing Director Peter Thompson said the Auckland market had found its winter 'ticking over' point.
“For the past few months turnover and average prices have moved in a tight band,” said Thompson.
“Properties are continuing to sell, particularly if they are priced to meet the market, while there is a steady stream of new listings giving buyers a good level of choice," he said.
“It’s a typical situation that can develop in mid winter, especially during periods when economic activity is quiet."
There were 644 properties sold by Barfoot and Thompson in July, down 21 from June and down 17.3% from July a year earlier.
July’s average price of NZ$534,389 was also 5.3% above the average in July last year.
“We are attributing the increase in average sales price to a higher than usual number of homes selling at more than NZ$750,000 in July. The percentage increase was modest, but enough to push the average price higher." Thompson said.
There were 1,267 new listings at Barfoots in July, up 6.1% on June. This was almost twice as many new listings as sales for the month.
Barfoots said it had 5,759 properties listed in August, in line with those at the start of July. This suggests many listings were withdrawn after not being sold.
“Until winter is behind us, we anticipate market conditions will remain the same as at present.”
Barfoots reported its average weekly rental during July rose NZ$5 to a record high of NZ$408, up NZ$20 from July last year and above the NZ$388 through 2008 and 2009.
“Average rents have definitely increased since the start of the year,” said Thompson.
“Landlords are facing higher operating costs and this is leading to rents going up.”
Barfoot said it rented out 775 properties in July up 12.3% on June and in line with rentals in July last year.
See our interactive chart series for Barfoot and Thompson's figures here and below.