Auckland house prices stable amidst political limbo

  • 03/11/2017

The Auckland housing market was stable in October despite the political uncertainty, with prices steady although sales volumes dropped, according to the city's largest real estate agency.

The number of sales fell to 634 in October from 778 in October 2016, the lowest in an October month for seven years, Barfoot & Thompson said on Friday.

New listings dipped 9 percent on an annual basis to 1733, while stock available at the end of the month was 20 percent higher than a year earlier at 4451.

"The Auckland housing market has been unfazed by the political change that has occurred," managing director Peter Thompson said.

"There has been no panic selling, any hopes of post-election price increases have evaporated, the new Government has done no more than confirm its pre-election commitments and buyers are still being cautious making purchase decisions."

New Zealand's property market has been slowing through the course of this year as Reserve Bank restrictions on more highly-leveraged mortgage lending and tighter credit criteria being demanded by banks made it more difficult for borrowers.

Quotable Value figures on Thursday showed property value growth slowed to an annual pace of 3.9 percent in October as inflated Auckland house prices fell for the first time in six years.

During the housing market's last downturn in 2009 and 2010, sale prices remained largely static, with the slowdown showing up in smaller sales volumes, longer days to sell, and a build-up in available listings.

The median sale price of $830,000 in October was unchanged from the same month a year earlier, and down 3.4 percent from September, while the average price of $910,537 was down 3.5 percent annually and 1.9 percent in the month.