February Auckland house sales hit 17-year high, more than half go for $1m-plus: Barfoot & Thompson

Auckland’s largest real estate agency’s sales volumes hit a 17-year record and more than half the places it sold last month were for $1 million or more.

Peter Thompson, Barfoot & Thompson managing director, said: “In February we sold 1,124 properties and you have to go back 17 years to find a February when we sold more homes.”

As well, 56 per cent of the homes sold in the month went for $1m or more, whereas last year, that category was only 40 per cent of monthly sales, he said.

The agency listed 1,941 new properties last month but the rising supply did nothing to satisfy Auckland buyer demand or dampen price increases.

The average and median sales prices increased: average prices reached $1,075,408, up 0.7 per cent on January’ and a median price of $1,010,000 was up 3.6 per cent in a month.

February’s median price was the highest on record and $5000 higher than the previous record set in December, Thompson said.

“At month’s end, we had 3416 properties on our books, the highest number for three months. This number, combined with the level of homes in the sales pipeline, will contribute to March likely being a strong sales month,” Thompson said.

The Auckland market was now set to remain active throughout autumn.

Rural and lifestyle property activity in February was nearly three times as active as it was for the same month last year.

“Increased payout projections for dairy farms, combined with banks again lending on this type of property, has seen an increase in demand for dairy land. There is also strong interest in demand for land to plant trees,” Thompson said.

Top-end lifestyle homes are in short supply, which has caused a lift in bare land sales especially for elite sites and land suitable for subdivision.

This week, the Herald’s quarterly OneRoof publication came out which told of high Auckland house price rises. That said: “There’s good news for people who have owned a home in Auckland since 2014 and not yet sold it – you could be sitting on a quarter of a million dollars or more, at least on paper.”

But today, Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens released his latest Home Truths series where he forecast a very different market coming soon.

House prices are still rising but the market is “past its peak” and mortgage interest rates will rise, Auckland house-building is catching up with demand and the shortage will be zero by 2028.

The boom has a way to run yet but the market will slow in time. That’s because mortgage rates will rise and the shortage of housing is being rapidly reduced, Stephens says.

“We think the current boom has, in one sense, already passed its peak. We expect the monthly pace of price increases will trend down from here,” Stephens said.

Source: Read Full Article