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Auckland houses sales jump from 2017 lull in November

Wednesday 5th December 2018

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Auckland house prices rose from a lull last year in November in the busiest month for city's biggest realtor since May. 

Barfoot & Thompson said sales rose to 941 in November from 747 the same month a year earlier, when Auckland's housing market was in a bit of a rut. The median sale price was $860,750 in November, up from $830,000 a year earlier. 

"Buyers and sellers are putting speculation around future trading conditions aside and acting with confidence at current market prices," director Kiri Barfoot said. "With stable prices and a solid number of properties to choose from we anticipate trading in the run in to Christmas will be strong." 

Despite the improving sales dynamic, the 1,606 new listings were down 18 percent from November 2017 in what's traditionally a strong month for housing inventory. Month-end stock was 4,854, compared to 4,838 in November 2017. 

ASB Bank economist Kim Mundy said that was the second month of weaker new listings, which suggests the government's restrictions on foreign buyers of residential property is starting to bite. 

"The sharp change in sellers’ behavior suggests that sellers were trying to get properties onto the market ahead of the change in foreign buyer legislation," Mundy said. 

ASB expects Auckland's housing market to remain muted, and likely to under-perform other regions for a while. 

"Despite some still solid supports, stretched affordability, increasing dwelling supply and lingering uncertainty over the impact of legislative changes are keeping prospective buyers wary," she said. 

Quotable Value figures today showed Auckland property values rose just 0.4 percent in November (based on settlements and calculated on a three-month rolling average basis) from a year earlier, lagging behind a 3.5 percent national increase. 

(BusinessDesk)

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