The biggest residential real estate agency in Auckland, Barfoot & Thompson, said yesterday the signs of a slowdown in price increases had become more apparent.
Managing director Peter Thompson said: “August’s price increase was restrained, for both the average price and the median price.
“The slowdown is not so obvious when comparing August data with that for July, but when you look at the average for the previous 3 months it becomes more apparent. “The average sale price in August was $906,560. While this was up 4.5% on that for July, it was up only 2.6% on the average price over the previous 3 months.
“Our data shows that those claiming the average price is on the verge of topping $1 million are over-inflating where prices are heading. While prices continue to rise, for the past 5 months buyers have not been prepared to pay more than they believe is the market price. The same trend can be seen with the median price, which at $850,000 for August is up 1.2% on July’s, and up 2.5% on the average for the previous 3 months.
“Current price increases are relatively modest compared with what has occurred in recent years. The slowdown can also be seen when comparing August’s sales numbers, listings at month end and new listings with the average for these statistics for the previous 3 months. Sales numbers were down 9.2%, available properties up 6% and new listings remained at the same level.
“It has led to a small increase in the choice available for buyers. It all adds up to some heat coming out of the market.
“The continued rise in prices with lower sales indicates that new regulations requiring investors to have greater equity than previously, which the trading banks enforced at the start of August, has had a limited impact on prices but may have affected sales numbers.”
Mr Thompson said sales fell to 1003 in August – down 3% from 1034 in July, down 9.2% from 1139 in the previous 3 months, down 25.5% from 1388 a year ago. 347 properties (34.6%) sold in August for over $1 million, 109 (10.9%) for under $500,000.
The average price was $906,560 – up 4.5% on the $867,681 in July, up 2.6% on the $883,549 in the previous 3 months, up 10.4% on the $821,079 a year ago.
The median price was $850,000 – up 1.2% on the $840,000 in July, up 2.5% on the $829,500 in the previous 3 months, up 12.6% on the $755,000 a year ago.
The agency’s 1706 new listings were up 19.6% on the 1426 in July, up by 6 on the average 1700 over the previous 3 months and down 4% from 1777 a year ago.
The agency had 3151 residential properties available at the end of August, up 4.6% on the 3012 at the end of July, up 6% on the 2987 average of the previous 3 months, up 6.6% on the 2957 a year ago.
Mr Thompson said the real test of where prices are heading would come this month with the arrival of spring: “For the past 3 years, September’s average & median prices have exceeded those for August, with prices then continuing to increase to year end.”
Attribution: Agency release.