The Auckland property market has recorded its slowest start to a year in more than a decade, according to real estate company Barfoot & Thompson.
The firm reported a limited sales activity in February with only 474 sold property, the lowest since December 2008. Sales numbers were 1,127 for the first two months of 2019, down 10.8% from the prior year. The average sales price of $918,496 was down by less than $9,000 from January and $1,000 less than year-on-year. Meanwhile, the median sales price of $801,000 was down 3.2% from the previous month and down 2.3% year-on-year.
It also revealed that sales of property in the $2 million price category during February accounted for 2.7% of total sales; sales between $1 and $2 million at 27.8% of sales; while sales under $500,000 category represented 12.7% of sales.
“The market is progressively hardening into a buyers’ market with a number of vendors preferring to take their property off the market when they cannot achieve their asking price,” Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said.
Thompson pointed to the low number of new listings over the holiday season. He suggested that sales numbers in the lifestyle and rural markets were also low in February.
“Potential buyers in the lifestyle and rural market are showing an increasing awareness of the effect increasing building costs are having on prices and are seeing existing properties as a good option when compared to buying bare land and building a home,” he added.