Super City powers through lockdown 2.0

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Lockdown 2.0? What lockdown? Auckland’s residential property market sailed through the level three restrictions, according to the city’s largest real estate agency.

By The Landlord

Barfoot & Thompson’s latest data reveals the level three lockdown restrictions had a negligible impact on market activity in the Super City in August.

In fact, it has prices hitting a new all-time high and sales numbers at their highest for an August for five years.

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson says that during the first, more restrictive lockdown, the market was stopped in its tracks but in August the market simply sailed through the restrictions.

“August trading was exceptional and, from a price perspective, even better than July’s trading, with buyer demand strong and consistent.

“Further, the majority of vendors were prepared to move to the alternative sales methods we were able to offer and were largely unaffected.”

For the second consecutive month, sales numbers for this time of the year were at a level last seen at the height of the last property cycle.

There were 1,055 sales in August which – despite the restriction on real estate processes - was a decline of just 3.7% on July.

That sales figure was also a solid 41.4% increase on the 746 sales seen in August last year. Further, sales were strong across all price segments and across all suburbs and districts.

At the same time, the average sales price came in at $995,543 in August. That’s an increase of 1.7% on July and of 7% on August last year.

Likewise, August’s median price was $911,500, which was 2.4% higher than July and  9.8% higher than last August’s median.

Thompson says they were able to sustain the excellent trading through online technology, like online auctions, that has been fine-tuned since the first lockdown and some easing of Government restrictions around final legal paperwork.

“Many found the move from ‘in-person’ to online trading to be relatively seamless, and those prepared to give it a go found they could make it work for them.”

With the easing of regulations more of the traditional selling methods have now been re-introduced, he says.

“But it means the market from now on will have an alternative online sales approach that will sit side by side with the more familiar way of doing business.”

Thompson adds that available listings are becoming an issue. “Although new listings in August were positive at 1,354, by month end we had only 3,703 properties on our books, which is our lowest number since February this year.”

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