Auckland house prices, sales slump in April
The average Auckland house sale price and volumes achieved by the city's biggest real estate agency dropped from $725,708 in March to $708,603 last month.
Barfoot and Thompson has just released its new monthly data.
Holidays, Easter and Anzac Day last month are thought to have been partly responsible for the change, with many people taking a 10-day break by combining Easter with Anzac Day statutory holidays.
Some real estate agents complained about the combination of holidays, saying people were not in house-buying mode but taking time out, which has affected the numbers.
Peter Thompson, Barfoot managing director, ascribed the drop to the holiday period but also said the loan-to-value regime and interest rates were also keeping prices in check.
Barfoot & Thompson sold 811 properties last month. This is a 42 per cent fall from the 1392 sales made the previous month.
"This average is higher than those achieved last year but more aligned to 2012 numbers. It shows ongoing support in the Auckland property market, but more listings creates more choice, and that ultimately softens prices. Sellers need to stay pragmatic about their property prices and not overprice them if they want them sold," he said.
The April median price was $619,550.
Dominick Stephens, Westpac chief economist, said house sales data had been hard to interpret lately.
"The composition of house sales has been affected by the Reserve Bank's restrictions on high-LVR mortgage lending. The B&T data is no exception," he said.
But it continued the weak trend of the past six months.
"House sales fell 10 per cent after an 8 per cent rise last month. Looking through month-to-month volatility, the trend in sales is clearly downwards - sales are now 20 per cent lower than their August 2013 peak, in seasonally adjusted terms. The increasing slack in the market was further emphasised by another rise in the number of listings available on the market - now up to 3.7 months' supply, from a trough of 2.8," he said.
It needs some adjustment. Steady growth is healthy for long term :)
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