The prospect of Auckland house prices continuing to increase throughout the year has returned with March’s average sale price reaching $866,782, and the median price reaching $798,000.
"March is always one of the busiest sales months of the year, and a good indicator of where prices are tracking for the remainder of the year," said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.
"In March the average sales price was the third highest on record, within $10,000 of the all-time high in November last year, and 5.4 percent higher than last month.
"The median price at $798,000 is the second highest on record, within $2000 of the all-time high in December last year, and up 8.1 percent on February’s median price.
"When prices are this strong in March the trend is for prices to hold steady through the year.
"As it has been for the past two years, lack of supply remains the main price driver.
"New listings in the month at 1,874 were solid, but by month end, the number of available listings at 3,093 was a decline of 6.8 percent on the number the month previously.
"There has been a definite increase in the number of properties being sold under the hammer at auction, indicating keen buyer competition for available properties.
"Although a record number of building permits are being issued, and new homes are springing up everywhere, Auckland is simply not building homes fast enough to keep up with the growing population.
"Statistics NZ reported that in February alone the population of Auckland increased by about 3000 people. Based on the Auckland average occupancy for houses, of three people to a property, theoretically 1000 additional properties would have had to become available in the month to house such growth.
"In March we sold 474 properties for in excess of $1 million, the highest number ever in one month and it represented more than a third of all properties sold.
"At the other end of the scale, 146 properties, or 10.9 percent of properties, sold for under $500,000," he said.