The Auckland housing market started the new year with strong sales numbers and rising prices.
''It was an extremely confident start to the year,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.
“In terms of sale numbers, we sold our highest number of properties in a January in four years. The average price and median prices were up on those for December last year, and new listings were up over the 1,000 mark.
“Buyers were active across all price segments and were prepared to pay near record prices.
“January’s trading confirmed the signs seen in November and December trading, which pointed to the Auckland housing market entering a new growth cycle.
“The average price for the month at $951,631 was in line with prices for the past three months but was 2.6 percent ahead of that for January last year.
“The biggest price movement was seen in the median price of $885,000, which increased by 2.3 percent on that for last December but was up 6.9 percent on that for January 2019.
“The rise in the median price can be traced back to property which sold for in excess of $1 million. In January we sold 261 homes in this price segment, more than a third higher than the number in the same month last year.
“Although new listings for the month at 1,080 were sound, and up 58 percent on those for December and 11.1 percent ahead of those in January last year, the market is still tight in terms of choice.
“At month’s end we had 3,537 properties on our books, down 18.4 percent on the number in January last year and only on a par with the average number of listings for the previous three months.
“This number of listings at the end of January is the lowest they have been at the start of a year in four years and given the level of interest being shown by buyers, now represents an excellent time for owners to list.
“Our rural and lifestyle markets experienced their best start to the year in three years, with strong sales numbers and excellent prices in January.
“The active markets led to a renewed interest in development land from those buyers unable to find an existing property that met their demands.
“Growing numbers attended auctions and open homes during the month.
“As with the metropolitan market, new listings, while increasing over those in late 2019, were insufficient to meet demand.”