The Auckland housing market made its traditional modest start to the year in January with relatively high sales numbers and lower sales prices.
“From a price perspective, the market has started the year at the same point it was in January 2018,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.
“The average sales price for the month at $927,181 was down significantly from the $950,312 in December, but that trend between January and December shows up at the start of each year and not too much can be read into it given the interruption to marketing caused by the holiday season.
“The same trend is there for the median price, which at $827,500 is down 5.4 percent on that for December.
“However, when you compare the average and median sales prices in January to those in the same month last year, they are almost identical.
“January’s prices reflect the state of the market we reported in December, which saw prices edging back.
“What is significant is that sales numbers are up considerably – at 653 being 29.6 percent higher than in December and 10.1 percent higher than they were for the same month last year.
“January’s sales are the highest they have been in a January for three years.
“It points to vendors accepting that the market has moved in favour of buyers, and they are trimming their expectations as to the price they will accept.
“However, there is certainly no indication that there is a major decline in prices.
“We listed a solid 981 properties in January, and at month end had 4334 properties on our books, 3.4 percent higher than in December. This is the highest number of listing we have had at the end of January for 7 years.
“Market indications are that a significant number of new listings will hit the market in February further increasing the already strong level of buyer choice.
“There is no lack of buyer interest for well-priced property in all price categories and attendance at open homes since Christmas has been surprisingly strong.
“We continued to sell properties across all price bands, with 28.8 percent of sales being for in excess of $1 million and 41.5 percent of sales being for under $750,000.
“The lifestyle and rural markets experienced a similar start to the year with modest sales numbers and restrained prices.
“Towards the end of the month listings and buyer inquiries in the lifestyle and rural markets started to increase as people returned from their summer break.”