Auckland residential property prices returned to normal levels of activity in March, with sales numbers increasing and the average and median prices setting new monthly records.
“After a quiet two months of trading at the start of the year, the market lifted in March with activity returning to something like the normal pattern and increased," said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.
“This upturn was always on the cards after the quiet January-February period.
“In March, the average sales price hit $968,570, an increase over the average price for the previous three months of 4.8 percent. The March increase over February was 2.5 percent.
“The median sales price at $900,000 showed a higher increase over the previous three months of 7.7 percent. The monthly increase was 9.8 percent.
“The March rise in activity can partly be attributed to the high level of choice available.
“While the number of properties for sale at month end at 4413 was down 2.9 percent on the number at the end of February, during the month an additional 1983 new properties were listed, and choice during the month was greater than it has been for the past four years.
“The back story to these numbers is that clearance under the hammer at auction was down to around 40 percent, and that more sales were agreed in after auction negotiations following vendors and buyers making modest compromises on their positions.
“Compared to last year the average price is now 11.7 percent higher and the median price 12.8 percent higher.
“During the last quarter of 2016 the rate at which Auckland house prices were increasing slowed markedly, and this situation has continued into the first quarter of this year.
“Traditionally March is the high point for prices in the first half of the year. Vendors that accept the market is changing and that there is greater choice available are the ones most likely to achieve a successful sales outcome in coming months.
“While the number of sales in March was nearly double those for February, at 1110 they were not as high as the 1341 in March last year.
“During March 451, or 40.6 percent of all sales were for in excess of $1 million, and of that number 67, or 6 percent of all sales, were for in excess of $2 million.
“99 properties, or 8.9 percent of sales, sold for under $500,000.
“Rural and lifestyle property sales were also active in March, with numbers being up by 55.5 percent on those in February, but consistent with those for March over the past few years.”