March sales were disappointingly low for Auckland's largest real estate agency but prices held up reasonably well.
Barfoot & Thompson sold 963 residential properties in March, down 9.5% compared to March last year.
It was both the lowest number of sales the agency has made in a March month since 2010, and the first time it has sold less than a thousand properties in March since 2010.
However in spite of the lower sales volumes, prices held up reasonably well.
Barfoot's average selling price was $931,673 in March, up $13,177 (+1.4%) compared to February and almost unchanged from March last year.
The median selling price was $836,000 in March, up by $35,000 (+4.4%) compared to February, but down 2.8% compared to March last year.
New listings were also down in March compared to where they usually are for the time of year, and that probably helped keep total inventory under control in the face of lower sales.
Barfoot received 1571 new listings in March, barely changed from the 1563 it received in February, but down 7% compared to March last year.
It was the lowest number of new listings the agency has received in the month of March since 2013.
That gave the agency total stock of 4865 properties available for sale at the end of March, up 4.4% compared to February, but almost unchanged from the 4814 it had on hand at the end of March last year.
However it was the highest stock level the agency has had on its books in the month of March since 2011, but only by a whisker.
"Sales for the month at 963 were a healthy increase over the 474 for February, but were still not over the 1000 mark, which is where we have come to expect sales for this month based on the past few years," Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said.
"However, this number is a vast improvement on those for January and February, which were among the lowest we have recorded at the start of a year in the past decade.
But prices were remaining within a tight band and showed no inclination to decline or increase, he said.
"It is a market requiring vendors to have realistic expectations if they want to avoid having their property on the market for longer than average, or eventually accepting an offer lower than an earlier one they declined," he said.
A third of all homes the agency sold in March went for more than $1 million, and 4% sold for more than $2 million.
Eight per cent of sales were for properties that sold for less than $500,000.
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