Auckland sales hit five year peak in March

Thursday 5 April 2012

Strong buyer interest saw Barfoot & Thompson experience its busiest March trading for five years.

The company sold 1,246 homes in March, up 63.1% from February and 16.4% higher than March 2011.

The average sales price for the month was $571,076, up 6.5% on February but down 1.7% on the year earlier.

"March was a month where the views of buyers and sellers reached common agreement as to where values were at, and we experienced the highest level of sales since March 2007," said managing director Peter Thompson.

He said the average price was at its highest point since December 2011 and that accompanied with the high turnover, suggested buyers are confident in the long-term value of Auckland property.

Population expansion, economic confidence and historically low interest rates were all combining to help push market activity, Thompson said.

He said the fact that this March's average price was $10,000 below the average for March last year and $2,000 below December's suggested prices were not spiralling.

"For the past two years, the March average price has been the highest for the year, and a contributor to the positive prices achieved in March is the effect the seasons have on house sales and values," Thompson said.

"While prices may move from month to month, the overall trend remains one of a modest increase year on year."

Sales in the million dollar-plus bracket remained strong, with Barfoot & Thompson selling 99 homes in excess of $1 million.

"It was the highest number of million dollar homes we have sold in a month since March 2007, and brings the number for the past three years to 180, which is 29.5% higher than for the first quarter last year."

Thompson said sales in the under $500,000 category also remained buoyant, with 628 properties in that price category sold during March.

The high number of homes sold on March is also putting pressure on choice, with the company having 4,771 homes on its books at the end of March in spite of listing 1,537 new homes during the month.

"Our number of listings at the end of March is down 17.8% on those for last March, and is the lowest we have had at this time of year for four years," Thompson said.

"Buyer interest remains strong."

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