The Auckland residential property market was in full recovery mode when the Covid-19 lockdown stopped it in its tracks, Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said today on release of the agency’s monthly housing statistics.
“Confidence in Auckland property was high in February & the first weeks of March and new listings, sales numbers & prices were at their highest for a number of years,” he said.
The agency’s 1763 new listings for March were the most in 17 months and sales exceeded 1000 for the first time in 2 years.
The average & median sale prices were both new highs, about $25,000 above the previous highs for both measures set in March 2017.
“March’s excellent sales figures built on the platform established by January & February trading and our first quarter sales were the best since 2016. Without the intervention of Covid-19 we could have anticipated the market’s momentum to have run through to late autumn.”
Mr Thompson said a factor in the rises of both the average & median prices was the exceptionally high number of sales in the $1 million-plus & $2 million-plus categories: “In March, we sold 479 properties for in excess of $1 million, which is more than we sold at the height of the 2016 price cycle. Of this number, 61 were for more than $2 million, our highest number of sales in this price category since March 2018.
“At the end of the month we had 3969 properties on our books, the highest number since June last year.”
Where from here?
While the lockdown was likely to affect sales at least until the level 4 alert is lifted, Mr Thompson said online technology was keeping sales ticking over.
“Although it is not possible to predict where the market will go in the short term, vendors & buyers might want to look to the past and take a medium-term view of market prices.
“During the major economic downturns that occurred in 1987, 1997 & 2007, house prices did not decline beyond 5% at most. And following the declines, prices recovered within 12 to 18 months.”
In the lifestyle & rural markets, Mr Thompson said activity was high right up to the lockdown and sales were the highest in a month for 2 years.
“During the month we settled 60 sales to the north & south of Auckland with a combined value of a little under $100 million.
“The Coatesville market was particularly active, and this was due in part to subdivisions coming to market by way of the transferable title provisions enabled under the unitary plan. Small blocks around Coatesville are attracting a lot of buyer interest.”
Attribution: Agency release.