Auckland sees unprecedented housing market activity

Taylor Scott International News

Unprecedented sales activity in March saw Auckland’s residential housing market establish new records for prices and sales numbers, according to the latest index for the New Zealand city. March is always the most active month for property sales, but there has never been a month’s trading to compare with the past month, according to Peter Thompson, managing director of Barfoot & Thompson. The average sales price increased by 3.9% compared with February, pushing the average sales price to an all-time high of $776,729. It is more than $17,000 higher than the previous record average price set in December last year. The median price at $711,000 increased by 1.1% over that for February and is 9% higher than the median in March 2014, the data also shows. ‘March has set a string of new records,’ said Thompson, adding that a quarter of all the homes sold in the month were for in excess of $1 million and the firm sold 1,597 homes in the month, the highest number ever in a calendar month. ‘Buyers were not put off by the record prices, and for the last two weeks of the month we sold more than 400 homes each week, the highest two weeks trading in the company’s history,’ he explained. ‘Buyers remain convinced that with a stable economy, low interest rates and restricted housing availability, that buying at current prices is manageable,’ he added. The data reveals that in the first quarter of this year, the average sales price has risen 6.1% over 2014’s average price for the year of $716,588, and March’s average price was 7% higher than it was 12 months’ previously. During the firm sold 420 homes for in excess of $1 million, 167 more than the 253 homes we sold in March last year, which until now was the highest number of $1 million homes sold in a month. At the same time it sold 300 homes for under $500,000, which represented 18.8% of sales. According to Thompson current high prices are encouraging more home owners to bring their property to market, and during March the firm listed 1,997 new properties, the highest number in the past 17 months. ‘At month’s end we had 3347 properties on our books for sale, the highest for 10 months. While sales activity in April is unlikely to match that for March, given the relatively good level of choice available trading can be expected to remain extremely active,’ he concluded. Continue reading →

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