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Barfoot sees regained momentum in Auckland sales amid flat prices

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

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Barfoot & Thompson says the Auckland market regained some momentum in March when its sales numbers almost doubled from February.

“March is the month when sales activity returns to normal after the summer break and this year’s March trading followed that normal pattern,” says the real estate agency’s managing director, Peter Thompson.

“Sales for the month at 963 were a healthy increase over the 474 for February, but were still not over the 1,000 mark, which is where we have come to expected sales for this month, based on the past few years,” Thompson says. The agency's latest sales are down 9.5 percent from the 1,064 homes sold in March last year.

But January and February sales had been the lowest sales months in the past decade.

Barfoot & Thompson is Auckland’s largest real estate agency and accounts for about one in three sales.

“The average sales price at $931,673 for March and the median price at $836,000 also showed a marked increase on those in February. However, if you put aside monthly variations and anomalies, sales prices are very much in line with where they have been at for the past 12 months,” Thompson says.

“Prices are moving in a fairly tight band and showing no inclination to decline or increase.”

The latest Real Estate Institute data showed the Auckland house price index fell 2 percent in the year ended February – its March data should be released within the next two weeks.

“It is a market requiring vendors to have realistic expectations if they want to avoid having their property on the market for longer than average, or eventually accepting an offer lower than an earlier one they declined,” Thompson says.

The agency listed 1,571 new properties in March. This was the highest level for the last four months, but 7 percent lower than the 1,689 listings in March last year.

Nevertheless, Thompson says his firm now has 4,865 properties on its books “and this represents a level of choice not seen since 2011. Traditionally, as we head into winter, choice tends to become tighter before growing again in spring.”

Given it operates in the high-priced Auckland market, there’s little surprise that sales of properties worth more than $1 million accounted for a third of all Barfoot's sales.  Four percent of sales were above $2 million.

Only 8 percent of sales were of properties worth less than $500,000.

(BusinessDesk)

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