Barfoot & Thompson’s residential property sales last month were at their lowest level for the month of January since 2011.
The agency, which is by far the largest in the Auckland region, sold 593 residential properties last month compared to 629 in January 2017 and 893 in January 2016.
Prices also dropped slightly, with the median selling price dipping to $830,000 from from $870,000 in December and below the January 2017 median of $846,500.
January’s average price was $934,753 compared to $939,871 in December but above the January 2017 average of $913,938.
The decline in sales was mostly at the bottom of the market, with sales of properties priced above $1 million being similar to a year earlier, while sales of properties priced under $500,000 dropped from 13% of all sales in January 2017 to 8% of all sales last month.
However, while sales numbers and prices looked soft, new listings were strong, with Barfoots signing up 1200 new listings in January, the highest number of new listings in the month of January since 2014.
The lower number of sales and higher number of new listings pushed the agency’s total stock of homes listed for sale to 4320 at the end of January, compared to 3620 at the end of January last year.
That means Barfoots are going into the peak summer selling season with the number of homes it has on its books up 19.3% compared to last year and up a massive 68% compared to 2016.
This suggests that buyers will have the upper hand as the market heads into the peak summer selling period, with plenty of properties for them to choose from.
Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson described the Auckland market as stable.
“It was a steady start to the year with sales numbers remaining low while sellers and buyers reached agreement at prices consistent with those for the last quarter of 2017,” he said.
“This stable trading trend first emerged in April last year and has rolled over to the start of the new year.”