Tuesday 4 August 2020
Barfoot & Thompson’s Peter Thompson
The SuperCity turned in its strongest housing sales performance in a July for five years last month, new data from Auckland’s biggest real estate agency reveals.
By Miriam Bell
It seems the Auckland market is not being held back by the uncertainties created by Covid-19 related economic concerns or by the looming General Election.
Barfoot & Thompson’s latest data shows the agency saw 1,095 sales in July. That was an increase of 33.5% on June’s 820 sales and of 24.6% on the 879 sales seen in July last year.
The agency’s managing director, Peter Thompson, says this is a level of sales normally only seen at the height of the summer sales season.
Further, it was the highest number of properties they have sold in a July since 2015 and was only one property less than they sold in March, which was prior to the on-set of Covid-19.
Thompson says that while anecdotal market information suggested that July trading was going to be strong, the extent of activity will have caught most forecasters by surprise.
But buyers put aside any apprehensions they may have about future market values and committed, he says.
“Demand was so strong that you have to go back to the height of the last property sales cycle to see turnover and values of equivalent levels.
“Normally as we approach a General Election the market goes a little quiet as buyers take a ‘wait and see’ approach, but even this event is not holding back activity.”
Barfoot & Thompson’s data also shows that prices continue to hold up well.
The average sales price in July was $979,189, which was the second highest on record. It was 2.7% up on the average price for last month and 6.5% ahead of that for July last year.
While the median sales price in July was down by 2.2% to $890,000 as compared to June, it was 11.2% ahead of where it was in July last year.
Thompson says that sales numbers were strong across all price categories, with sales of homes for under $500,000 accounting for 9.9% of all sales and those for between $1 million and $2 million accounting for 34.6%.
“A factor contributing to the high number of sales was the level of new listings, which at 1,518 were close to a third higher than at the same time last year, and the highest in a July for five years.
“At month end we had 3,873 listings on our books. Although this is down 3.2% on those for the previous month they are in line with where listings were at the same time last year and gives buyers a reasonable choice.”
The Barfoot & Thompson data follows hot on the heels of Realestate.co.nz’s latest data which shows that Auckland saw a 39.7% year-on-year increase in listings in July – but a 3.3% year-on-year increase in average asking price.
However, commentators continue to warn that although the housing market might be performing strongly at this point, the impending end to the Government’s wage subsidies and the banks’ mortgage “holidays” in a couple of months might change the situation.
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