Barfoot & Thompson's August sales volumes rose 41% year-on-year, as average selling price set new record

Barfoot & Thompson's August sales volumes rose 41% year-on-year, as average selling price set new record

Auckland's largest real estate agency had a cracking month in August, with the number of properties sold up 41% compared to August last year.

Barfoot & Thompson sold 1055 residential properties in August, down slightly from the 1095 it sold in July but up 309, or 41%, from the 746 properties the agency sold in August last year.

"August trading was exceptional," Barfoot & Thompson Managing Director Peter Thompson said.

"Buyer demand was strong and consistent and for the second consecutive month sales numbers for this time of year were at a level last seen at the height of the last property cycle," he said.

The agency also received 1354 new listings in August, which was down 11% compared to July, but up 29% compared to August last year.

That left the agency with total stock of 3703 properties available for sale at the end of August, down 4% compared to the end of July, and down just 3% compared to the end of August last year.

Selling prices remained firm. Barfoot's median selling price was $911,500 in August, up 2% compared to July, and up 10% compared to August last year, although it was still just below the record median of $925,000 set in March this year.

The average selling price hit a new all time high of $995,543, which was up 1.7% compared to July and up 7% compared to August last year.

"Sales were strong across all price segments and across all suburbs and districts," Thompson said.

The latest Level 3 lockdown restrictions in Auckland had only a minor impact on the market.

"During the first, more restrictive [Level 4] lockdown, the Auckland property market was stopped in its tracks, but in August the market sailed through the latest restrictions," Thompson said.

The interactive chart below shows the monthly trends in Barfoot & Thompson's median and average selling prices, sales numbers and new listings.

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We sure do love our land here :)


Only in Auckland could a real estate agency monthly sales be breaking news !

Yeah Glitz, this is a bitter pill to swallow.

One can always rely on Labour Governments for an explosion in house prices - as economic historians will tell you......

If you want further massive increases in house prices then vote Labour - and you won't be disappointed!



If it had been a 41% decrease DGMers would be doing handstands and proclaiming the end is nigh. You cannot ignore news just because you don't like it.

Behind every buyer, there is a seller, although the August sales are some 30 percent below those of the 2015, ( no handstands) during "the last Auckland property boom", perhaps the real question is why would you sell at this point in this market, given the path that the RBNZ has taken.


Maybe because you're being offered a king's ransom for your house?


And you'll need to pay a Kings ransom for the next one, so it's only a benefit if you are fleeing Town or downsizing.. Doesn't help if you are trading up or sideways.

"Fleeing town...", you DGMers love drama.

A particularly bad week for the DGM......

They've been seen wearing their trousers at half-mast.


More than twice as many properties were sold in May 2019 compared to May 2020. Surely these July and August figures just account for those houses that weren't sold in the previous months?

2020 already caught up with 2019 last month:

"Overall, that means Auckland sales in the first seven months of the year were 1.7% higher than the same period of last year."(see

Now the market is just showing off.

1.7% woohoo!!! That's a couple of dozen unwanted air bnb CBD apartments, isn't it? Contrary to the MSM, prices in Auckland at least are flat at best

You know it will be more than 1.7% now in light of August's results right?

(I think maybe you don't but I am giving you the benefit of the doubt...)

Nope Albert, the 2020 sales had caught up with 2019 by end of July, now it's all just additional and beyond 2019. Then there's also the prices, both average and median are significantly up on a year ago. It's just a really strong market whichever way we look at it, we just have to accept that.

Why use median and average when we have a better metric? You can certainly look to year on year change but given the major negative economic shock happened predominantly in the 2nd quarter of this year it might be more prudent to assess the HPI for the past 3 months. Certainly not really strong for Auckland and especially Qtown.


Yes HPI is best and it's saying things are pretty much flat. So both the bulls and bears need to calm down.
Having said that, flatness is quite amazing given the economy.

Yes HPI is best and it's saying things are pretty much flat

It's an index. The problem with property indexes is that they don't account for the context of the market (attitudes and behavior). People tend to look at an index and think that the headline measure is somehow representative of a here and now universal truth. This is called anchoring as explained by Kahnemann. So the measure might be say $900,000 for a house in Auckland. So people believe that. However, what is the real price if 5% of owners wanted to sell tomorrow? 10% 30%? You don't know. Reality is that it might be closer to $500,000.

This is the problem with indexes and how they have captured the sheeple and institutions. And this is a problem tied to economies who have doubled down on property bubbles. Everything becomes removed from reality.

Also how new? How many bedrooms? How much land does that $900k get you? If the median or average house price is up 10%, but people are getting on average 25% more "house" then which way is the market going?

But but but prices are up 10%!!!!!!11oneone

Thanks for the link Albert, I didn't realise that CoreLogic are no longer supplying QV with their data from this month onwards.

I have been surprised by the total lack of sales data from my normal sources here in Auckland Eastern suburbs. Nothing since February!

Hi VI, The Rob Report is very good for the Eastern Suburbs, maybe that's what you're referring to? Would you like a copy of the July Rob Report? (August not out yet)

Thanks Yvil, I will check in with Rob as I received the Remuera update but nothing for Eastern subs. Cheers. It’s the best data source out there!

There you go VI.

The Rob Report - Eastern Suburbs - July 2020.pdf

Amazing! Even the property bulls' predictions were too conservative

Have a look at Corelogic HPI August figures. Paints a different story.

Anyone heard anything about spring stock coming to market? Still looking slow and tight to me. And now the election is Oct, will sellers wait that long to list?

Where on earth has MikeKirk disappeared to?
His fastidious counter-reporting of data is conspicuous in its absence


you forgot to sign-in to your tothepoint account

So your logic and rationale says that if I quote TTP, I must be TTP??
I often quote Warren Buffett, doesn't make me Warren Buffett


Where on earth have your copy-paste comments from yesterday disappeared to?
Oh I guess they got deleted because you spammed the comment section with it. And now you miss the very comments you said you don't want more of? Sounds very TTP-esqe.


Bit busy this morning.
Don't worry, I am thinking on response!
BT account for.a third of Auckland sales.
Clearly they are doing v well and market is indeed strong, esp in speed of sales.
Others other than me have identified why. Largely cheap credit and LVR removal plus little decent stuff coming on market posting prices esp over $1.5m
No one really knows when things might alter but I continue to suspect, along with a few others, that change rubicon will be when unemployment begins to rise faster, from end of October. But in addition it will be no surprise to see that November-March are lower than in 2019-20, simply because 2019-20 for those 4m were v good sales indeed and marked the acceleration from rest of 2019 which up to then had been a poor year.
Many comparison results depending v much on when you start the comparison
Yes, Auckland 7m sales up to end of July, acc to REINZ are up 1.7%
But that is largely due to good months up to end of March (ie incl Jan, Feb, march)
June, July August has not made up for the trench losses of lockdown.
If you compare April and May 2019 and April and May 2020, the lockdown loss was 1984 sales.
June and July filled up 843 of that loss, or 42.5%
So, August has a lot of sales to do to make up rest of the loss
Excluding Auckland , rest of NZ only made up 22.6% of the lockdown loss.
Given slowdown in listings in last 2 weeks especially, sales will inevitably dip from here.
By the way, excl Auckland, NZ sales down 25% in 2020.
But MSM do not look at that.

He's back.

May be 5G technology has fried people brain cells and they kept on buying houses for a king's ransom?

Waiting for Mike Kirk’s comment....

In the year to June 2020, New Zealand recorded 79,400 in net migration (those arriving for good minus those permanently leaving) – an 8.7% increase over the previous year, equalling the record set during the final months of the last National government.

Source please? (I'm asking because I seem to read contradicting data re immigration, I'd love to know hard, proper figures)

go to tourism -> international travel and migration -> Estimated migrant arrivals by visa type, 12/16-month rule (Monthly)

Estimated.. And those figures don't look beleivable, we had 10% more visitor arrivals in the year to jun2020 with the borders closed for a couple of months than the previous year with no lockdown? Smells fisher than 4 day old halibut. Figures under "ITM permanent and long term arrivals by age, sex and visa type" look somewhat more believable.

You can view it in a table by month here. Its fallen off a cliff the last few months.

The falling off a cliff looks right, but the arrivals going stratospheric from May 2019? I sure hope that is some sort of error.

In the year to June 2020, New Zealand recorded 79,400 in net migration (those arriving for good minus those permanently leaving) – an 8.7% increase over the previous year, equalling the record set during the final months of the last National government.

By 'year to June', do you mean June 2019 - June 2020? Or do you mean Jan 2020 - June 2020? I assume it's the former. It can't be the latter, unless somehow ~50 thousand new workers arrived just in June.

Look at the data. Stats nz has the net migration between April to June of 800, I.e. since lockdown. Jan to mar they have as 30k.

(The 80k referred to is rolling 12months)

Is there any breakdown of what type of property is selling, as there has been a truck load of apartments to settle in. Would add that driving around the delay between the sign going up and the sold sticker on pretty much anything is short indeed.

This report is bad news for anyone hoping for lower prices as it will allow the RBNZ to keep stimulating demand, despite the anecdotal evidence prices are actually very firm.

This report is bad news for anyone hoping for lower prices as it will allow the RBNZ to keep stimulating demand, despite the anecdotal evidence prices are actually very firm

You make some rather large assumptions here: 1. The RBNZ can control people's behavior like a puppet on a string (this is actually what we call nudging theory). It may appear that they can but you don't really know what you're seeing. You see lower interest rates and house prices go up. So you think that this is a hard and fast causal relationship; and 2. Anecdotes are evidence.

1. There is strong positive correlation between house prices and interest rates. If you think that is a behavioural rather than affordability response, I really couldn't care less.

2. Anecdotal evidence, highly pedantic.

Number 1 for sure:

Wealth effect or wealth illusion? The other therapeutic effect of lower-for-longer interest rates is the wealth effect. By driving up the value of future cash flows with lower rates of interest, all manner of assets – stock, bonds, and houses – increase in value and, thereby, can stimulate our marginal propensity to consume. More simply put, the imperative was to make rich people richer so as to encourage their consumption. It is not so hard to imagine negative side effects.

There are the obvious distributional effects between those who have assets and those who do not. Returning house prices in California to their 2005 levels may be good for those who own them, but what of those who don’t?

There are also harder-to-observe distributional consequences that flow from the impact of lower-for-longer interest rates on the value of our liabilities. This is most easily observed in pension funds.

Consider two pension funds, one with a positive funding ratio and one with a negative funding ratio. When we create a wealth effect on the asset side of their balance sheets we also drive up the value of their liabilities. Lower long-term interest rates increase the value of all future cash flows – both positive and negative. Other things being equal, each pension fund will end up approximately where they started, only more so.

The same is true for households but is much more ominous, given the inequality of wealth with which we began the experiment. Consider two households: one with savings and one without savings. Consider also not just their legally-defined liabilities, like mortgages and auto-loans, but also their future consumption expenditures, their liability to feed and clothe themselves in the future.

When the Fed engineered its experiment to promote the wealth effect, the family with savings experienced an increase in the present value of their assets and also an increase in the present value of their liabilities. Because our financial assets are traded in markets and because we receive mutual fund and retirement account statements, we promptly saw the change in the value of our assets. We are much slower to appreciate the change in the present value of our liabilities, particularly the value of our future consumption expenditures.

But just because we don’t trade our future consumption expenditures on the stock exchange does not mean that the conventions of finance do not apply. The family with savings likely ends up where they started, once we consider the necessity of revaluing their liabilities. They may more readily perceive a wealth effect but, ultimately, there is only a wealth illusion.

But what happened to the family without savings? There were no assets to go up in the value, so there is no wealth effect – real or perceived. But the value of their future consumption expenditures did go up in value. The present value of their current and expected standard of living went up but without a corresponding and offsetting increase in assets, because they don’t have any. There was no wealth effect, not even a wealth illusion, just a cruel hoax. Link

There is strong positive correlation between house prices and interest rates.

If you want to say lower interest rates cause house prices to rise, it's actually a 'negative relationship.' But that's a broad assumption. In the case of Japan, the correlation would be weak.

If you think that is a behavioural rather than affordability response, I really couldn't care less.

'Affordability' is a subjective perception. It is not a behavioral response. If someone thinks thinks something is affordable and they want or need it, that influences their behavior to purchase.

Actually, you are correct that is a negative correlation. Japan is an outlier in most aspects of economic analysis, there has been a strong empirical negative correlation between rates and house prices, all be it with a lag.

All things being equal, lower rates make a mortgage more affordable. Whether the impulse to buy is a result of dollars & cents or behavioural, I would say the former.

In Japan they sell more adult than infant diapers. Their story is one of an aging population and an adversity to immigration. There are abandoned homes and towns there. No interest rate or monetary policy can help with that problem.

The number of Japanese people with ages 65 years or older nearly quadrupled in the last forty years, to 33 million in 2014, accounting for 26% of Japan's population. In the same period, the number of children (aged 14 and younger) decreased from 24.3% of the population in 1975 to 12.8% in 2014.

Careful how you interpret and apply CoreLogic data. I note that you are the second person posting referring to CoreLogic data.
While CoreLogic data covers all sales (not just REA), it has considerable limitations reflecting changes or the current state of the market.
Firstly, although reported as "August data", CoreLogic data is that for a three month period. CoreLogic is also based on data of sales that has been registered; unlike REA data including BT sales which are when a sale goes unconditional.
So CoreLogic is going to include data that was reported by REINZ and BT up to four months previously.
CoreLogic data was never intended as an indicator of the current changes in the market - rather, it was intended for RV purposes. See CoreLogic data as being like the "Queen Mary" - very slow to react and show a change in direction. REINZ and BT are far better indicators of the current state of the market.

I suspect HPI will be much more accurate than median which can be heavily influenced by typology / location etc.

As a general rule, I try to ignore any information presented by those with vested interests (e.g. REINZ / BT etc.).

Even Covid can’t drag the market down...
Overseas trip money all going into houses. Mother land provides.


For those waiting with baited breath....

BT sold 540 fewer in April and May combined than they did in same 2 months of 2019
In June, July, August they sold 559 MORE than in same months of 2019
So, the June-August surge has simply filled in the hole from lockdown.
But it has done so a lot better than REINZ figures showed for June and July alone (only 42.5% of lockdown hole filled)
So, August for BT seems exceptionally good.
For the full 5 months April-August however, BT sales are only 3918 v 3899
That is an increase of 19 or 0.0048%

Baited breath? Brush, floss and gargle after you return from your hunting trip please..

Humour....even self denigration and still no appreciation!

I was just dodging the fish hooks in that one :)

V good

Still would be very interested to find out the split on sellers intentions. For example.

Relocating overseas
Relocating in NZ
Buying a larger property
Retirement - to retirement village

More examples...

Old man died, kids selling
Decided against upgrading to healthy homes standard
Decided to take some gains and pump money into motel
Sell house to fund drugs and alcohol abuse issues

There are so many possibilities...

Or a call from the bank and they want their money back.
There are so many possibilities...

Congratulations to all property investors!. Exciting times ahead.

Core Logic, for all those who say that its ALL about prices, shows that prices are falling last 3m.
Also, BT report shows one of its metric price measures as below its peak, at $911, whereas peak was $925k
Most think that prices will fall 10% but don't know by when.
I am sticking with forecast of 25% drop in median by end of 2021, that is 25% off the peak which was $900 in March 2017 acc to REINZ.
The economic hit to Auckland and NZ has barely started at will be at its rampant destruction phase from Feb to Oct 2021. Over supply of housing plus too few buyers = fall in prices.

Mikekirk29 - bold call. It should fall, not only housing but also Stock market but for now is party time for all those invested in either asset class.

With wage subsidy ending many will be going for income relief of $490 per week for 12 weeks and with mortage defferal, nothing is falling till money printing stimulus ends. So yeah future looks uncertain unless everything becomes normal and economy bounces back strongly.

Our welfare society is holding the both up, eh. One would hope this stops folk benefiting from it from putting the boot into poorer welfare recipients...but probably not.

That's the problem MikeKirk, you keep delaying the date of your house value falls. In 2019 you said February 2020, then when I called for record high prices for March 2020 you said prices will fall from April 2020, then you predicted falls in September 2020, now you say in 2021… You will be right at some stage in the future, maybe next year, maybe in 5 years, maybe in 20 years but what good is it when you continuously get your predicted dates wrong?

“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.”
“There are three types of lies -- lies, damn lies, and statistics.” ...

Forecasts , esp by economists, are not facts.
Also to you and Yvil,price drop forecast has been throughput that will fall 25% off median peak by end 2021. Which means $675k by end 2021. We live in unprecedented times and when the financial credit crunch arrives, as it will, you and Yvil will not eat your words

Yvil we all are not experts like you who realise leverage and creating currency out of thin air has created this. But you act as if its economics 101.

As you well know the postponement of price drops is due to QE and interest rate cuts. None of which you nor I could or did forecast. Asset inflation is RBNZ and gov policy. So things are artificial for now. Mockery does not become you. I don’t reciprocate

Good on you for not denying having changed your forecast dates. What you call mockery, I call accountability

You know the Keynes quote I assume....

Well he’s not wrong about Auckland..prices have been falling since April albeit not much.

I think if you call it within a 12 month range you are doing pretty well given the amount of manipulation that is occurring. Even Michael Burry (great movie FYI) didn’t call it precisely.

Well, I did, back in sept 2019 I predicted house prices to reach all-time high prices in March 2020. MikeKirk asked me what metric I shall be judged by, I replied average, median and HPI...

You should send Adrian Orr a bottle of pinot.

The affect of panademic and it consequences ...lockdown, unemployment....will be felt after the ventilators/stimulas are shut off....

Australian GDP Falls by Most on Record, Confirming Recession ""

I like the message in the window of the picture.. "Lord Jesus is camming"... YouTube, TikTok or OnlyFans I wonder?

That savings graph is telling and replicates what is happening here and globally... when people are scared/anxious about job security/economy they don't spend and the velocity of money dries up regardless of how much money is thrown at them. Surely as our second largest trading partner this doesn't bode well for us. RV 920, BEO 945, went for 900. Mildly encouraging.

'3 spacious bedrooms' hmmmm. From the photos one of the bedrooms looks no wider than 2 meters. That's not 'spacious'...
And the interior will get jack all sun

It has high ceilings.. therefore spacious :P

aha. Volumetrically spacious.

Mezzanine potential.

Not saying I want it. Just an example of a actual transaction in 'red hot' Wellington.' My friend's neighbour in Strathmore just sold 50k below RV after only two people came to see. Wellington City and suburbs might not be drum tight in all cases.

Yep, not pointing the finger at you. I was just amused by some of the RE agent's BS spin, for example 'spacious' bedrooms. I know Hataitai well, that house won't get much sun. Cute, though!!!
Love ya name, BTW.

Wellington can be a funny market. It's had a few dips in the past. But it will probably be resilient so long as the ridiculously large army of 'policy advisors' is maintained...From what I recall the army actually grew under National's reign.

I did loads of research when I was looking to buy in Wellington and it looked to me like Wellington city had a pattern of quite small dips but followed by quite long periods of stagnation and then, eventually, crazy periods of catch up growth.

I will say though, that whilst I love love love living in Wellington, it is the most difficult place to buy a house. Are you sheltered from the wind, do you have views, are you in the tsunami zone, close to the fault lines, do you have sun, what about borer, have you got parking, how steep is the access, are you near a traffic bottle neck? Are you next to a house full of lairy students?

If you can find the right place, then all good, but some of the housing stock in Wellington is really poor. A lot have have been student digs or rental dives and poorly maintained. Mine was in a poor state but that's fine because I wanted a place I could rip back to studs and do a monster reno on but if I had wanted a house in good nick and meeting the other criteria above, I reckon i'd still be looking.

Yes Wellington is much trickier than Auckland and that's saying a lot. For all the reasons you state.
I rented a few places after leaving home in the mid 90s, and it was really hard finding good rentals. Again, much harder than Auckland.

Welly has been building and renovating on steroids the last 18 months, so there might be some much needed investment going into improving the housing stock. I imagine in the 90s it was grim. My brother in law, actually rented student digs on our street, when he was a PhD student, early 00's I think. All those houses were knocked down and there are maybe 10 new houses now? Some town houses, some mahoooosive luxury villa style places.
I really wanted to buy a house in Aro Valley, but that was a fools errand. There are maybe 7 houses in the whole suburb that get decent sun and don't have mold LOLOLOL. But it's massively gentrifying there. Someone did up a house and put copper guttering and spouts on the whole property!!!? Hipster af.

Yeah Aro Valley is theoretically charming but yes the reality is most of it is sun deprived and mouldy.
Thorndon is one of my favourite parts of the city but wouldn't touch it with a barge pole in terms of buying due to the fault lines. But love it, and the botanic gardens. Stunning.

Did you ever consider Petone? My dad moved to a retirement village there earlier this year, I really like it. Jackson Street is great. Petone is nice and flat, near the sea with some lovely bungalows. Pretty handy for the city too.

Yeah, Petone is a great spot but we just love Wellington city, we have an office off Cuba. Our kids go to a great school close by, we can walk to TWO PUBS and a 30 walk into the city. And somehow, miraculously managed to meet all the criteria . I am absolutely nuts for Kiwi 1890's-1910's homes and I really wanted to restore one.

Our poor house had all its features ripped out, so i've been painstakingly adding them back. Lots of trawling on trademe for character features that other people are getting rid of etc. We even managed to find a picture of our house in the Turnbull Library archives and discovered that we used to have a turret, so now i'll never be happy till i've put the turret back on. Petone does have some gorgeous character homes, but in general, pretty good condition. I wanted one that I could earthquake strength, insulate, double glaze yadda yadda. Our house had good bones but otherwise if has been almost like building from scratch.

This house was listed 7 months ago, all staged etc, then sold in July for $900k and its back on the market already?

Page is wrong I think. Don't see it on Trade Me.

Auckland price: median was $845k in July 16
In July 19 it was $825k. Yes, correct: it fell.
In July 2020 it was $920k. peak was March 2020 at $945k
Median price rose 66.5% in 7 years from July 2013 to July 2020.
In that time sales (pa) fell from 30,803 to 22,695
In last 12m, median has risen 11.5%
Pre CV19, March 20 sales were 2583 and a year earlier were 2712.
In March 2020 compared to March 2019, the brackets which had biggest % increase (as a % of total sales) were the bracket from 950k - 1.1m and also from 1.4 - 1.7m
The 650-800k bracket lost 3% of total sales and bracket above it (800-950k) gained 12%.

Sales in July 2020 were 55% higher than in July 2017
But for Feb-July 2020, residential sales were 11,111 v 11,081 in 2019.
That is an increase of 0.002%
Following 12m sales on a running basis is far more stable way of examining how sales are doing
In the 12m to end July 2020, sales in Auckland were 22,695
In the 12m to end of April 2020 they were 22,735
In 12m to end of Jan 2020, they were 22,784

What this indicates is that over the smoothing effect of a year, annual sales show little variation in the last 3 years.

2017 Auckland total sales were 21,862
2018 Auckland sales were 22,588
2019 were 22,615.

Thanks Mike for those figures - to me it shows that little has really changed of any significance and neither property bears and bulls need to say to one another, that the other party is on the "wrong track" etc etc etc.

Just listened to Ashley Church on the radio just before 2pm - I hope REINZ et al are paying him handsomely for his "advertorials" !

As far as the Auckland market for investing is concerned, I did a "scenario" on a 2 bdm unit as a rental (based on a 48.27% deposit) with the lowest mortgage interest rate and my net return on my deposit for the first year would of been ...... 1.84% less any tax ....says it all really, as the only way you are going to make money is on capital gains, otherwise I wouldn't bother, so it always comes back to the big question - just how much "capital gain" is left in this market ?