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

Barfoot & Thompson chief executive Wendy Alexander

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.


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