4 May 2016

House prices up, fewer properties on market

1:52 pm on 4 May 2016

With demand for housing in Auckland still increasing, the declining number of properties available for buyers is hitting home.

Homes at the Waimahia development in Weymouth in Auckland.

The median house price in Auckland was $820,000 in April. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Sales volume through the region's biggest real estate agency, Barfoot and Thompson, was down in April after a busy March, with only a marginal increase in the average price.

The average price for April was $873,599, a rise of 0.8 percent on March and 8.6 percent ahead of March last year.

The median sales price for the month was $820,000 which was up 2.8 percent on that for March, and also up 8.8 percent on that for April last year.

Barfoot and Thompson said the number of homes it sold in April was the lowest in that month for four years, and the likely cause was caution around current pricing and a restricted choice due to the low number of properties on the market.

Sales that month dropped to 944 properties, a fall of 29.6 percent on March and down 11.8 percent on April last year.

The number homes classed as affordable has declined, with those worth $500,000 or less making up only 7.1 percent of all homes sold.

While choice across all price segments was low, the company said interest in top-end homes remained strong and 355 properties, or 37.6 percent of all homes sold, went for more than $1 million.

The suburb of Hataitai in Wellington.

The number of properties for sale in Wellington has fallen, according to realestate.co.nz Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Wellington market heating up

The capital's housing market is also showing the effects of strong demand and fewer properties up for sale.

Data from the website realestate.co.nz shows Wellington's average asking price climbed to $506,532, about 2 percent higher in April than March.

The website's chief executive, Brendon Skipper, said the number of properties for sale in the region had fallen, but demand was still out there from buyers.

"With the lower level of stock on the market and buyers still out there, it's certainly a sellers' market," he said.

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