Barfoot & Thompson's May sales at lowest level since 2010, inventory of homes for sale up 43% compared to a year ago

Barfoot & Thompson said there was greater pressure for prices to fall in May than there had been for several years.

The pressure on prices is coming from big increases in the number of homes available for sale while actual sales numbers decline.

The real estate agency, which is by far the largest in the Auckland region, reported 886 residential property sales in May, up on the 664 reported in April but down 420, or 32%, on the 1306 in May last year.

It was the lowest number of sales in the month of May since 2010.

At the same time the total number of homes the agency has available for sale has been rising, with 4298 homes available for sale on Barfoot’s books at the end of May compared to 4214 in April, and up a staggering 43% compared to the 3013 that it had on its books in May last year.

Last month Barfoot & Thompson had the most homes available for sale in the month of May since 2012.

“With a sound number of new listings, total listings at their highest for the past five years and low sales, there was greater pressure on prices to fall than has been experienced for some years,” Barfoot & Thompson Managing Director Peter Thompson said.

However in spite of the pressure, prices remained relatively flat.

The average price of residential properties sold by the agency in May was $942,717, up from $917,079 in April, but below the record high of $968,570 achieved in March.

The median price was $846,000 in May, the second month in a row it has declined from the record high of $900,000 achieved in March.

Thompson said high end properties remained in high demand, with 38.5% of the properties the agency sold in May selling for more than $1 million, while just 4.5% sold for less than $500,000.

“For the first five months of this year sales numbers are down about a quarter on what they were for the the same period last year,” Thompson said.

“The vendors who are achieving a sale are those who accept that prices are flat and are likely to remain that way until the September election is behind us,” he said.