Auckland prices may decline for the first time in a decade

by Ksenia Stepanova08 Jan 2019

Auckland may be set to record its first price decline in a decade, according to real estate company Barfoot & Thompson.

The uncertainty of the property market in 2018 stagnated Auckland prices throughout the year, with the city falling by nine places to the bottom of ASB’s regional economic scoreboard in December. According to Barfoot managing director Peter Thompson, the market is currently marked by “indecision” as to where prices will be heading.

“A range of factors contributed to market uncertainty at year end,” Thompson said.

“These included non-New Zealand residents being restricted from buying certain categories of property, the reported major decline of property prices in the major Australian cities, the potential for capital gains to be applied to investment properties in the future and concerns over world economic stability, in part caused by the trade friction between the United States and China.

In December the point was reached where it was vendors that were prepared to meet the market who were achieving a sale, while those holding out for their asking price were not.”

Thompson says residential sales nonetheless performed better than in 2017, though the median price was down 0.8% year on year. This may reflect the start of a ‘buyers’ market’, as this is the first time the median price has declined year on year since the 2008 financial crisis, and renewed construction activity means more properties are up for grabs.

“A stand out feature for me in 2018’s sales data was the significant increase in the number of sales made in the under $500,000 price category,” Thompson continued.

“This increase can be linked directly to the higher number of apartments, terraced housing and town houses hitting the market, giving first time buyers and those on limited incomes far better access to property.”

The average Auckland price in December was $950,312, up 1.3% on the previous month and 1.1% on December 2017.

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