Auckland house price growth stalls for a second month

At the end of May, Barfoot & Thompson had just 3034 properties on its books, the lowest number in more than a decade

Auckland house price growth stalled for a second month in May as buyers baulked at rising prices, according to Barfoot & Thompson, the city's biggest realtor.

The average sale price edged up 0.3 percent to $644,737 in May, following a 0.5 percent drop in April, the firm says. The median price advanced 0.7 percent to $570,000.

"The Auckland property market has come out of the other side of a period of price rebalancing caused by five years of modest price growth," managing director Peter Thompson says in a statement. "There is resistance to going above current values."

New Zealand Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler has been looking at ways to cool Auckland's overheated housing market without hurting the productive economy.

He may use new macro prudential tools this year to limit low-equity loans in an attempt to dampen demand. Economists expect he will also raise interest rates, which could increase demand for the kiwi dollar and hurt local manufacturers.

Barfoot sold 1284 properties in May, 21 percent more than April and 10 percent higher than May last year.

The firm had 1315 new listings in May, down 14 percent from April and the lowest level in four months. At the end of May, Barfoot had just 3034 properties on its books, the lowest number in more than a decade, the firm says.


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