In October, the Auckland residential property market took a confident step forward on the path to recovery.
“Growth was modest, but it was across the board, with a high number of new listings, sales numbers increasing and both the median and average sales prices for the month exceeding $1 million for the first time since March,” said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.
“Throughout August and September there were positive signs that the corner had been turned, but in October it all came together, and the market moved forward firmly.
“Vendors returned to the market in strength, with new listings for the month at 1829, a quarter higher than in September, and a third higher than for the same month last year.
“Buyers were also prepared to commit, and sales at 846 were the highest for an October for three years, and a third higher than in the same month last year.
“The shackles of rising interest rates and economic uncertainty, that have held back prices, were loosened with the median price hitting $1,011,250. This is the highest median price in the past 7 months and was up 2.5 percent on that for September and 1.8 percent higher than the average for the past 3 months.
“The average price, at $1,090,724 was the highest average price in the past four months and is up 3 percent on that for September.
“A feature of October’s sales was the level of interest shown in housing in the $1million to $2million price bracket. While always the segment with the largest number of sales, in October it accounted for 54 percent of all sales, the first time this year that this price category has accounted for more than half of all sales.
“Sales in the $1 million to $2 million price category are particularly sensitive to mortgage repayment levels and show that those taking on debt at current interest rates are confident that from now on prices are only likely to rise.
“Sales at more than $2 million represented 6.6 percent of all sales.
“At month end listings of 4564 ensured that buyers had an excellent range of properties from which to choose.
“The rural and leisure markets in the regional areas to the north, south and west of Auckland experienced the same surge in new listings as metropolitan Auckland but sales activity remained subdued.
“Buyer interest in terms of inquiries and viewings increased in these markets on that for past months, particularly towards the latter part of the month, and vendors and buyers are showing an increased flexibility and willingness to reach agreement.
“It has raised expectations that the rural and leisure markets will soon experience increased sales activity.”