Auckland Housing Market Edging Towards More Stable Prices
Rising interest rates and tighter bank lending have combined to take the heat out of the Auckland market in the first two months of the year and the long-anticipated return to a stable pricing environment is occurring.
“February’s prices and sales numbers are down on those for the previous three months and are now in line with those being achieved midway through last year,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.
“At $1,196,036, the average sales price for February is still the fourth highest on record, and 11.2 per cent higher than at the same time last year.
“The same is true for the median price, which at $1,122,500, is the sixth highest on record, and 11.1 per cent higher than at this time last year.
“It’s an indication that last year’s aggressive rate of price rises has peaked, and price increases are easing back as buyers take a more cautious approach.
“A return to a more stable pricing environment might be in sight.
“Sales for the month at 750 were down significantly on those for last February, which was exceptionally busy. When compared with those for the five years between 2016 and 2020 current sales numbers are typical for the early part of the year.
“March sales data will give a better indication as to whether the market is in for a more stable year, as the disruptions caused by the Christmas break and holiday season will have worked their way out of the sales figures.
“Vendors will also have had time to reflect on the changing price environment, and whether they need to trim price expectations to achieve a sale.
“New listings in February at 1077 were modest for this time of the year but combined with the lower number of sales it has increased the number of properties we have for sale at month end to 4385. This is the highest number of properties we have had for sale at month end in nearly three years.
“A feature of the Auckland market that is now showing up in sales data is the high number of apartment sales, and in February 21.5 per cent of all sales were for properties valued at under $750,000. Last year February’s sale of properties for under $750,000 represented 18.1 per cent of sales.
“The rural and lifestyle markets in Auckland and Northland experienced a quiet trading month in comparison to 2021. In part, this was due to low stock levels following an exceptional sales month in January.
“With new listings increasing post the holiday season and the opening of a new sales office in Waimauku to the west of Auckland, sales activity is anticipated to increase in March.”