In a cruel twist for the real estate industry, Barfoot & Thompson's sales figures for March suggest the industry was the most buoyant it had been for several years before the Covid-19 lockdown brought the market to a crashing halt.
The agency set new records for both average and median selling prices in March, with the average selling price of $993,528 coming in well above the previous record of $968,570 set in March 2017.
The median selling price was $925,000, topping the previous record of $900,000 also set in March 2017.
Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said the average and median prices were pushed up by the exceptionally high number of more expensive properties that sold during March.
New listings were also stronger, with Barfoots signing up 1763 new residential listings in March, up 12% on March last year and the highest number for the month of March since 2017.
Sales were also stronger with 1096 residential sales in March, up 14% on March last year and the highest number of sales in any month for three years.
Those figures suggest March would have been an exceptionally strong month for the agency had it not been cut short by the lockdown.
"Without the intervention of Covid-19 we could have anticipated the market's momentum would have run through to late autumn," Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said.
Thompson said activity was also high in the rural and lifestyle markets right up until the lockdown commenced.
"While the close down is having an effect on sales numbers and will likely do so until the level 4 is lifted, market activity continues to tick over," he said.
"Through the use of online technology, sales activity has continued through the Covid-19 lockdown.
"Buyers are undertaking viewings through listings on our website, with our sales people progressing negotiations through a variety of technologies."
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