Barfoot & Thompson's median price hit new record of $790,000 in September, but the company warns that prices are at a crossroads

Barfoot & Thompson’s median selling price rocketed to a new all time high of $790,000 in September, up 4.6% from August’s $755,000 but only marginally ahead of the previous all time high of $786,000 set in June.

However the number of unconditional sales has flattened out, with the agency, which is Auckland’s largest, selling 1358 homes in September compared with 1314 in August and 1388 in July.

Both the number of sales and the median price remain well up on last year, with the agency selling just 959 homes in September last year at a median price of $635,000. That means the median price is up $155,000, or 24%, year-on-year.

Auckland’s biggest real estate agency received 1940 new listings in September compared to 2123 in August and 1314 in September last year.

The new listings it received last month were the highest in any September month for 12 years.  

The total number of properties that Barfoots had available for sale on their books rose to 3148 in September, compared to 2957 in August and 3075 in September last year.

The number of million dollar-plus properties also hit an all time high, with Barfoots selling 428 homes for $1 million or more in September.

In September last year it only sold 164 homes for $1 million more.

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said the surge in prices may have been influenced by buyers trying to beat new tax rules on investment properties but the traditional spring lift in sales would have been a factor and the increase in new listings was creating a reasonable level of choice for them.

“Whether September’s prices have set a trend for the remainder of the year has yet to be seen,” he said.

“In the last week of the month there was a fall off in sales made under the hammer at auctions, and there was less pressure on buyers to make immediate decisions.

“This end of month development carries with it a note of caution for sellers, in that September’s prices may not prove to be the start of of a new round of increases, and that buyers may not be prepared to overstretch themselves to secure a property.

“The future direction of prices still remains at the crossroads,” he said.

In a Quickview note on the figures, ASB economist Kim Mundy said they suggested supply may be catching up with demand in Auckland.

“Low interest rates and strong population growth via net migration will continue to drive demand,” she said.

“However an increase in new supply might return some balance to the market. But it remains early days.”