Member log in

Auckland house sales fall in June, listings dry up, Barfoot says

Auckland house sales fell in June, with listings at a five-month low, as the property market enters the traditionally slower winter period, according to realtor Barfoot & Thompson.

The number of sales fell to 1,037 in June from 1,059 a year earlier, and were down from 1,109 in May. The average sale price rose 1.6 percent to $714,054 in June, and was up from $649,945 a year earlier.

Auckland's biggest realtor had 3,274 properties listed at the end of June, the lowest number in five months, though up from 2,873 a year earlier when listings were at an 11-year low. The number of new listings fell to 1,149 in June from 1,318 in May, and were down from 1,189 in June.

"While a fall in new listings is a trend commonly seen at the start of winter, it will add pressure to lack of choice in coming months," chief executive Wendy Alexander said in a statement. "Compared to the number of properties available at this time of year over the past 10 years, choice remains very limited."

The strength of Auckland's property market has been a cause of concern for the Reserve Bank as prices accelerated in the face of a supply shortage, and last October introduced restrictions on low-equity home lending as a means to cool the sector, without having to resort to early interest rate hikes. Since then, the bank has embarked on a tightening policy, hiking the official cash rate three times to 3.25 percent.

About a third of properties sold in June were below $500,000, while $1 million plus houses made up about 17 percent.


Comments and questions

A classic case of real estate industry spruiking -- median values are down 2.9% month on month, while the report exclaims average prices are up.

Since when are property values reported in averages anyway. The B&T website even contains a lengthy spiel extolling the virtues of the median measure. Talk about picking a suitable metric to support your message.

AK is on the mark here. Mean averages are a very poor statistical measure as a few on either end of the continuum can 'skew' the average markedly. The median measure (though still a blunt instrument) is more valuable. One stat that might be worth tracking is the variance with QV's in each suburb?

Waiting for the quarterly results in August will be a little more telling. Very hard to take out anything from a single winter month given the typical market trends of winter if the market is adjusting. The third quarter is going to be telling - will be interesting to see the relationship between Property market, Dollar and Reserve Bank in September on the back of market data then.

A more accurate headline may be: "Auckland house prices fall 4% from March high, below November 2013 levels, as OCR hikes bite. Further rate rises expected."