he new year has not brought any great change to trading patterns in the Auckland residential housing market.
“It was a steady start to the year with sales numbers remaining low while sellers and buyers reached agreement at prices consistent with those for the last quarter of 2017,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.
“This stable trading trend first emerged in April last year, and has rolled over to the start of the new year.
“In January the average price for sales was $934,753, 1.5 percent higher than the average for the previous three months, while the median price at $830,000 was 1.6 percent lower than the average for the previous three months.
“Variations of 1.6 percent or less across a four-month period represent very little change.
“Sales numbers at 593 were light for the month, down 13.8 percent on the average of the previous three months and down 5.7 percent on those for January last year.
“However, given January’s short and holiday interrupted trading period, caution needs to be attached to drawing strong conclusions from the month’s sales.
“Sales of home in the high end categories of $2 million and $1 million at 27 and 170 respectively were consistent with the number of sales in these price categories in January last year.
“Sales of properties for under $500,000 fell from 13 percent of all sales in January 2017 to 8 percent of sales in January 2018.
“New listings in January at 1200 were strong, and were 5.1 percent higher than in January last year.
“At the end of the month were had 4320 properties on our books, the highest number of listings at the end of January for six years.
“Auctions continued to be the main sales method, with clearance under the hammer averaging 50 percent.
“The outlook for residential housing for the first half of 2018 is positive.
“With prices having plateaued, stable mortgage interest rates and the potential that greater access to mortgage finance will be made available to first time buyers and those on limited income, sales numbers can be expected to grow as we head into the traditionally strong February to August sales period.
“The same situation exists for rural and lifestyle property sales.
“With buyers being selective and taking their time, sales activity in this sector was quiet in January. There was a strong level of buyer interest, and a solid level of quality new listings including a number of dairy farms.
“Interest in small to medium sized commercial property was strong in January, and our sales for the month at $78 million were the highest on record for the month of January.”