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NZ Property prices fall in Auckland, ending a four month run of rising values

Sean Wang - Wednesday, October 03, 2012

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Residential property prices in Auckland fell in September, ending a four month run of rising values, the latest data shows.

Average prices in New Zealand’s largest city fell 1.1% to $585,838, the figures from Barfoot & Thompson’s monthly report reveal.

Managing director Peter Thompson believes that buyers are cautious about paying over the top for property at the moment.

‘The most significant factor still affecting the market at present remains the low number of properties for sale. Restricted choice has been an influencing factor all year, but whereas in the past four months it has contributed to rising prices, in September buyers were cautious about paying more than their assessment of market value,’ he explained.

‘That combination of elements trimmed about $6,000 off the average selling price during the month,’ he said, adding that compared to the average selling price in September last year, prices were up 6.9%.

The real estate firm listed 1,266 new properties in September, down 10.7% on those for August, but in line with the number it has listed in September for the past two years.

Thompson described sales as ‘excellent’ with the monthly figure of 969 above those for the month of September during the last five years. But sales were 4.6% down on those in August, which was the highest number of sales in an August for eight years.

‘At the end of September we had only 3,733 properties on our books, so we are starting the month with available listings remaining at their lowest in a decade,’ said Thompson.

At the top end of the market properties continued to sell well in September, with 78 homes selling for more than $1 million, representing 8% of all homes sold during the month.

At the same time the firm sold 456 homes for less than $500,000, representing 47.1% of all homes sold.

‘Demand for property remains high and until there is a significant increase in the number of homes built, property in Auckland will remain in tight supply,’ explained Thompson.

‘Our agents have reported a significant increase in interest in sections for sale during September, and this may indicate a lift in new home building is on the horizon,’ he added.