November was easily the busiest month this year for residential auction activity around the country, although it's becoming harder to achieve a sale under the hammer.
March is usually the busiest month of the year for residential property sales, including those sold by auction. This year 1284 properties were offered at the auctions monitored by interest.co.nz in March. This was exceeded by the 1377 put under the hammer in October, and absolutely walloped by the 2250 properties offered up at the November auctions.
The number of auctioned properties selling under the hammer has also risen steadily in the latter part of this year, with the 427 sales in March exceeded by 489 in August, 506 in September, 628 in October and 918 in November.
However the increase in sales under the hammer mask a possible indicator of weakness in the market, which is that sales under the hammer have been increasing at a much slower rate than the number of properties being auctioned since September.
Back in March exactly a third of properties auctioned were sold under the hammer. That rate steadily increased to almost half (49%) in August and then dropped back to 41% in November.
That's still a better sales rate than at the beginning of the year, but the latest auction results suggest the sales rate could drop back under 40% in December.
That's resulting in a growing pile of properties to be sold by negotiation post-auction, a trend that can be clearly seen in the graph below.
We are hearing similar stories from the coalface, with agents reporting that although there are plenty of listings and plenty of potential buyers in the market, the main difficulty is closing the gap between their respective price expectations.
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