Auckland house prices hit new record
The average Auckland house price hit a new record last month, driven by an increase in sales of higher-value properties, according to the city's largest realtor.
The average sale price rose 2.6% to $943,801 from September, and is up 12% from October last year, Barfoot & Thompson said in a statement. Some 39% of the homes were sold for more than $1 million, while just 5.1% of properties sold for under $500,000, the agency said.
Concern about soaring house prices in Auckland has spurred the introduction of new loan-to-value lending restrictions by the Reserve Bank and Barfoot said the latest sales data showed that while high-end buyers weren't put off by rising prices, the tougher rules had impacted the lower end of the market.
"The new LVRs investors must meet has had a significant impact on sales in the under $500,000 price category," Peter Thompson, managing director of Barfoot & Thompson, said. "In spite of there being a reasonable selection of properties available, only 40 homes, or 5.1% of all properties, sold for under $500,000."
The real estate agency sold a total of 778 properties in October, down 26% on September's tally and 27% lower than October last year. That was the lowest level of sales for an October month since 2011 when the market was still not fully recovered from the global financial crisis, the agency said.
At the end of the month, Barfoot had 3711 properties listed on its books, 21% ahead of the same period in September, 14% above October last year, and marking the highest level for three years.
Mr Thompson said the latest data showed the Auckland market "is losing its forward momentum" and noted the "normal spring lift in sales activity" had failed to arrive this year.