A typical, solid December’s trading confirmed that Auckland residential property prices, while stable at year end, had stopped rising.
“December’s average sales price at $913,709 and the median price at $840,000 were both down for the second consecutive month,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.
“It was a typical December trading period with sales numbers and new listings in line with those for the previous year, and prices being not far off the record prices of October and November.
“Signs that the rate at which prices were increasing was declining has been there since mid-year, and that decline showed in the prices achieved at year end.
“In December the average price declined by 2 percent when compared to the average price for the previous three months.
“While prices definitely eased there was certainly no suggestion that current prices are under any great downward pressure and normal sales numbers are being achieved.
“For the median price the reduction was 1.8 percent.
“December’s modest price retreat is similar to that which occurred last December and it took until March for the upward price trend to re-appear.
“New listings at 776 were the lowest in a month for the whole year, but were the highest in a December for five years.
“Year-on-year, the average sales price increased by 8.6 percent, the lowest for four years.
“It compares with 13.9 percent in 2015, 10.3 percent in 2014, and 11.1 percent in 2013.
“For the median price the 2016 increase was 8.9 percent compared to 17.4 percent in 2015, 11.1 percent in 2014 and 12.6 percent in 2013.
“At year end we had 3,270 properties on our books. While this number is down on those at the end of October and November, it is the highest number at year end for four years, and more than a third higher than it was at the same time last year.
“Sales of million dollar properties remained strong in December with sales in this price category at 282 representing 39.1 percent of the month’s sales.
“Sales of properties for under $500,000 at 52 represented 7.2 percent of the month’s sales. Throughout the year, 11.1 percent of all the properties we sold were for under $500,000.”