Auckland house prices and sales volumes fall in January: Barfoot & Thompson

Prices and volumes for Auckland residential properties sold by the city’s biggest agency dropped last month in the slower January period.

Peter Thompson, Barfoot & Thompson managing director, said the average sales price last month was $1,230,581, down 3.8 per cent on December’s average $1,278,647.

Sales volumes also fell to 801 transactions in January, down from 911 in December and 1182 in November.

Listing numbers have grown from 3646 in December to 3827 last month.

But Thompson said January wasn’t that unusual. Sales were in line with normal trading patterns for the first month of the year and showed no signs that prices are under pressure from trading bank lending practices or rising interest rates, he said.

“January trading was very much in line with expectations for the first month of the year.
Prices eased marginally from those recorded in December, which is common, sales numbers were excellent and new listings were healthy,” Thompson said.

“New listings for the month at 1135 were strong, and we ended the month with 3827 properties on our books, giving buyers a level of choice not seen for 15 months,” he said.

CoreLogic said this week that national property values rose 2.1 per cent in January, up on December’s 1.9 per cent.

Following volatility affected by the seasonal summer slowdown, there is mounting evidence residential property values could slow in the coming months with some areas more vulnerable than others, it said.

Activity levels seem to have passed their peak and typically that will lead to a clearer slowdown in values after a lag of a few months.

Nick Goodall, research head, said: “The shift to red in Aotearoa’s Covid-management plan brings another layer of uncertainty to the market, but with the increased difficulty to secure finance being the lead topic and probably greatest influence over the future of the market right now, the impact of social restrictions is likely to be minimal.”

Following overwhelming feedback that recent changes to the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act had gone too far and were unnecessarily impacting the ability of credit-worthy borrowers to secure mortgages, the Government has asked the Council of Financial Regulators to review the regulations and investigate whether lenders are implementing the new rules as intended, he noted.

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