Tuesday 6th May 2008
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The volume of sales during April (453) was down 50% on the same month a year ago. Company records show real estate sales haven't been this slow since December 2000.
However, the average sale price is continuing to hold. April's average sale price was $520,380, down only 2.2% on April last year and ahead of the March average of $511,740.
Managing director Peter Thompson believes a growth in the proportion of sales occurring in the lower bracket (less than $500,000) has not lowered the average price.
"Sales in the less than $500,000 price bracket increased from 42% of our total sales in March to 48% in April. Logically it could be expected that this would reduce the average price - but that wasn't the case."
Thompson believes that suggests two things; new buyers entering the market were encouraged by the wide range of stock available, and that price discounts are nowhere near as prevalent as the media has been reporting.
April saw a lot of stock on hand, with 'available listings' ending the month at 7,843 - 76% higher than this time last year.
However Thompson believes "this is a reflection of the slower market rather than a wave of new listings."
The number of new listings coming onto the market has slowed from a high of 2,049 in February to 1,590 in April.
"There is no evidence of vendors being forced to sell. Again the facts are painting a different picture to that generally being represented in the media," Thompson said.
According to Barfoot & Thompson, the average weekly rent remained steady at $390.
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