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Auckland house sales perk up in October

Monday 4th November 2019

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Auckland property sales rose more than usual for early spring, indicating the city's real estate market is slowly returning to normal. 

Barfoot & Thompson sold 824 properties in October, down from 844 a year earlier, with the median sale price at $845,000, a 1.7 percent decline from a year earlier. 

But ASB Bank economist Mike Jones said the volume was up about 8 percent from September on a seasonally-adjusted basis and indicated a continuation of Auckland's recovery over the past two or three months. Sales volume was returning to more normal levels rather than boom-time levels, he said. 

"It keeps various calls and forecasts of an Auckland housing recovery on track. We'll wait and see what next week's Real Estate Institute numbers show but, for now, it looks like things are on the up."

The city's biggest realtor said vendors returned to the Auckland residential property market, with 1,605 new listings in the month a 33.3 percent increase from September. However, that was still down 21.6 percent from October 2018. At the end of the month, the realtor had 3,820 properties on its books, up from 3,694 at the end of September, but still down 21.2 percent from a year earlier.

Managing director Peter Thompson said new listings had been limited since March and were at a two-year low at the start of October. But he said the latest increase - a typically strong month - signalled an active selling season into the end of the year. 

"What October’s data signals is both vendors and buyers are coming to accept that the market conditions that have prevailed for more than two years now are the new norm and that there is no big price increases or major price declines on the horizon," Thompson said. 

Real Estate Institute figures showed Auckland residential property prices have been falling at a slower pace in recent months, with annual house price inflation down 0.8 percent in September compared to a 4.4 percent annual decline in April.

Jones said if the Auckland property market continued to recover, he would also expect to see business confidence improve. 

"There is growing acceptance that today’s prices represent where the market is valuing property, and that’s where it’s likely to stay," Thompson said. 

About 30 percent, or 247 properties, were sold for more than $1 million, and 9.5 percent, or 78, went for more than $2 million. 


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