The Auckland residential housing market ended 2019 strongly with December sales numbers being their highest in four years and prices holding onto most of the gains made in November.
“Based on year end trading, the Auckland housing market is set for an active late summer and autumn selling season,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.
“In November, prices increased significantly with sales numbers remaining modest. In December, it was the reverse, with sales numbers moving significantly and with prices holding onto most of November’s gains.
“The market is the most buoyant it has been at this time of the year for three to four years.
“We sold 777 properties in December, in excess of 50 percent more than we sold in the same month last year. You would have to go back to 2014 for December sales numbers to be significantly higher.
“The average selling price for the month at $949,092 is the third highest monthly sales price on record, and the median price for the month at $865,000 is the third highest for the past 24 months.
“Buyers have reached the point where they realise the market is potentially ready to move forward and are acting decisively.
“New listings for the month at 682 were excellent for a December, the highest for this month for three years.
“The strong December performance has left the market extremely short of stock and at month end we had only 3,191 properties on our books, the lowest number in any month for more than four years. Properties for sale were 13.8 percent lower than in the previous month and limited stock is holding back sales activity.
“The rural and lifestyle market ended the year relatively quietly. While sales numbers for the month were up compared to the same month last year, prices did not follow the trend being experienced in the urban areas at year end.
“New listings in the rural and lifestyle market were strong towards year end, improving available choice, which had been restricted earlier in the year.
2019 in comparison to 2018
“When reviewing 2019 on a 12-month v 12-month basis with 2018, the Auckland property market has been stable.
“In 2019, the average number for new listings on a monthly basis (at 1,226 v 1,413 for 2018), listings at month end (4,086 v 4,486) and sales (777 v 805) were lower than for 2018. It shows fewer homes came to market, choice was more restricted and fewer sales were made.
“At the same time the average price on a monthly basis in 2019 at $933,259 was up 0.4 percent, and the median price at $839,250 was up 0.3 percent on those for 2018.
“However, when the average and median prices for the last two months of the year are compared, the average monthly price in that period is 1.3 percent higher and the average monthly median price is 1.7 percent higher.
“It is this late surge in prices that has changed the public’s perceptions as to where the property market is now heading.”