Auckland house prices rise in August

  • 05/09/2017
Auckland's average house price rose in August.
Auckland's average house price rose in August. Photo credit: Getty

Auckland's average house price gained in August, with the market remaining firm in the lead-up to the general election this month, Barfoot & Thompson says.

The average price rose 1.2 per cent to $918,926 from a month earlier and was 1.4 per cent higher than in August 2016, the city's biggest realtor said on Tuesday.

Sales rose 4 per cent compared to July, to 777, though they were down 23 per cent on a year earlier.

"For the past six months there have been only minor variations in the pattern of lower sales numbers and prices remaining firm," Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said.

"The reality of the situation is that prices are remaining stable, and sales numbers are running at two-thirds of where they were 12 months ago."

There were 1260 new listings in the month, up 7.4 per cent from a month earlier but down 26 per cent from August 2016.

Mr Thompson said this drop in listings was not unexpected one month out from a general election and the realtor had 3993 properties on its books at the end of August, the highest number of properties at the start of a September month for six years

"It provides a good platform for the market to operate from once the election is behind us," Mr Thompson said.

"With a well-performing economy, relatively low mortgage interest rates and strong population growth, there is every reason to anticipate over the medium term the housing market will retain people's confidence."

Sales of houses for less than $500,000 accounted for 11.6 per cent of all sales in the month, while 35.5 per cent of sales were for more than $1 million.

The data follows the QV house price index which showed inflated Auckland house prices continued to moderate after several years of rapid gains, with annual growth in New Zealand property values dropping below 5 per cent for the first time in five years.

The QV house price index rose 4.8 per cent in the year to August, the slowest annual rate since August 2012 and down from an annual increase of 6.4 per cent in July.

QV noted a lack of listings over winter, loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions and stricter lending criteria led to a 30 per cent drop in market activity and sales volumes compared to the same time last year.