Average house prices in Auckland rose in 2017 despite sales numbers falling, with 37 percent of homes sold for over $1 million in the year, realtor Barfoot & Thompson said.
There were 674 sales in December versus 721 sales in the same month a year earlier, Barfoot & Thompson said in a statement. The average sale price rose 2.9 percent from the previous December to $939,871, with the median price up 3.6 percent annually to $870,000.
In 2017 the number of homes sold was down more than 25 percent from each of the previous three years, but average prices still rose 4.5 percent to $926,632 and the median selling price jumped 2.7 percent to $843,583, said Peter Thompson, managing director of Barfoot & Thompson.
"Normally when sale numbers fall by such a large percentage, prices retreat from their record high levels," Thompson said. "But this has not occurred, and prices have continued to rise modestly. It underlines there is still buyer support at current prices."
The Reserve Bank's restrictions on the level of new bank lending to owner-occupiers with less than 20 percent deposit and leveraged residential property investors, along with retail banks being more cautious on mortgage lending and buyer apprehension have "all played their part in cooling the market", but "a housing shortage when the population is growing creates demand", Thompson said.
In the year, 37 percent of all homes sold were for in excess of $1 million, compared to 35 percent in 2016 and 29 percent in 2015. At the other end of the scale, just 9 percent of homes sold for less than $500,000, compared to 11 percent in 2016 and 15 percent in 2015.
Barfoot & Thompson said sales of lifestyle and rural property in Auckland and Northland followed the same pattern in the year, with sales numbers lower but firm while prices held steady. Dairy farm sales were affected by the downturn in the industry.
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