Thursday, June 13, 2024

Housing market hobbled by extreme weather in February 

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The average price at $1,101,980 was down 1.2 per cent on that for January and down 7.9 per cent on that for February last year. Times photo Wayne Martin

Two months of the most intense and extreme weather Auckland has ever experienced hobbled the property market during February, leading to the slowest month’s trading in a February for at least a quarter of a century. 

“The state of emergency, constant gales, disruption to movement and the public’s preoccupation with safety made trading conditions during February the most challenging anyone in the business can recall,” said Peter Thompson, managing director of Barfoot & Thompson. 

“Whereas the Covid lockdown caused frustrations, in February onsite activity involved unprecedented commitment, discomfort and perseverance.  

“We sold 410 properties during the month. The only month in the past 20 years when we have sold less was in April 2020 when virtually all commercial activity was suppressed as a result of Covid. 

“The median price of the homes sold was $1,023,000, up 2.3 per cent on January’s median price and down 8.9 per cent on that for February 2022. 

“The average price at $1,101,980 was down 1.2 per cent on that for January and down 7.9 per cent on that for February last year. 

“Given how little trading activity was possible, not too much should be read into February’s sales activity and prices.” 

Prices continued to ease against where they were at this time last year, but vendors remained firm in what they considered a fair market price. 

New listings reaching the market remained strong, and at 1309 for the month were 21.5 per cent higher than in February last year. 

“At month end we had 4873 properties on our books, the highest number in a February for 10 years,” Thompson said.

“Buyer interest and attendance at open homes has started to rebuild with the return of fine weather. 

“A feature of February’s trading was that under 6 per cent of the homes in February were for more than $2 million. At this time of the year that number has regularly been around 10 per cent. 

“In February nearly a quarter of the houses sold were in the under-$750,000 price segment. 

“Rural and lifestyle activity to the north, west and south of Auckland also experienced severely restricting trading conditions, and sales numbers were about half those achieved in February last year. While quality listings existed, buyer activity was hampered.” 

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