House prices in New Zealand’s capital city fell slightly last month after three months of uninterrupted increases which saw average prices reaching an all time high of $645,928. The latest price report from agents Barfoot & Thompson shows that average sales prices were down just under 0.5% to $643,089.
April’s decline in the average sales price confirms that buyers are taking a measured approach to what they are prepared to pay for property,’ according to Peter Thompson, managing director of Barfoot & Thompson. ‘Buyers are only prepared to pay what they believe to be fair value, and they have not adopted a buy at any price approach,’ he said. ‘That there was a definite pause in the upward movement in house prices in April is reinforced by the median sales price, which at $566,000 was down $14,000 or 2.4% on the median price for March,’ he added.
Thompson also pointed out that the number of new listings in April was ‘excellent’, with 1,532 new properties being listed, up 3.8% on those for March and up 21% on those for April last year. ‘This created a modest increase in the choice of properties for sale over those in March, but it was not a major contributor to the downward pressure on prices. In historical terms, choice is still severely limited and it was price that was more the deciding factor in April,’ said Thompson. ‘Price acted as a self regulator and buyers were not prepared to pay over the top prices,’ he added.
Quote from PropertyCommunity.com : “In the western suburbs of Sydney we have had a 3% rise in capital growth. Its only the top end of the market that has been affected.”
The figures also show that sales at 1,062 properties were the highest in an April for 11 years, but were still down by more than a quarter on March’s 1,430. Some 40% of all the sales in April were for under $500,000, up from 38.5% in March. ‘While 103 properties sold for in excess of a million dollars, this was a modest number compared to the 637 homes that sold for under $500,000,’ said Thompson.
He added that demand for property outside the inner ring of suburbs around the central city area is still attracting solid buyer support. At month end Barfoot & Thompson had 3,467 properties on its books, its second lowest number in more than a decade and down 6.8% on the number at the end of March.