Sales results from the country’s largest real estate company suggest the overheated Auckland residential property market has peaked. Harcourts had a surge in the number of Auckland properties being listed for sale in August, while the number of sales and the average selling price were flat.
Harcourts had 829 new listings in its Auckland/Northland district in August, up 28% compared to July, and sold 646 properties in the district during the month, down 3% compared to July. The average Auckland selling price was $817,580 in August, down just 1.3% compared to July and down 1.5% compared to its all time high of $830,186 achieved in March.
However the average Auckland selling price in August was still 25% above the average price in August last year, while the number of Auckland homes sold in August was up 37% compared to a year earlier. The combination of the lift in new listings and the slight dip in sales in August, meant the company finished the month with an inventory of 12.5% more homes listed for sale than it did at the end of July.
The figures suggest that the Auckland market has probably peaked but is largely maintaining the significant price gains achieved in the last 12 months.
Around the rest of the country, activity in the Central North Island district, which includes Waikato and Bay of Plenty, was up in August compared to July, with the number of sales in the region up a massive 68% in August compared to a year earlier (see table below), although price growth was more modest with the average selling price up just 6% in 12 months.
Harcourts chief executive Hayden Duncan said the number of auctions Harcourts conducted in the Central North Island in August was up 172% compared to August last year, as vendors in cities such as Tauranga and Hamilton tried to meet the demand for properties form Auckland investors.
In the Wellington district activity was more subdued, with the number of sales and average selling price both down slightly compared to July and the average price down 8% compared to August last year.
In Christchurch the number of sales was down compared to July, but the average selling price was up by more than $23,000 for the month.
In the South Island excluding Christchurch there was a big jump in new listings, which rose from 229 in July to 299 in August, while the number of sales dropped from 237 in July to 202 in August, with the average price remaining almost flat.
|Harcourts Sales August 2015|
|August 2015||July 2015||August 2014|
|Number of sales||646||668||471|
|Average selling price||$817,580||$828,009||$654,429|
|Central North Island:|
|Number of sales||543||527||324|
|Average selling price||$349,147||$347,444||$327,904|
|Number of sales||274||291||243|
|Average selling price||$351,054||$354,079||$380,611|
|Number of sales||384||426||332|
|Average selling price||$496,023||$472,710||$488,772|
|South Island excluding Christchurch:|
|Number of sales||202||237||168|
|Average selling price||$336,112||$337,811||$298,746|