House prices in Auckland are likely to remain stable over the remainder of the summer and autumn sales season as the number of properties on the market picked up and prices declined in the latest data for February, according to the city's largest realtor.

The average sale price fell to $919,454 in February, down 1.6 per cent from January and 2.7 per cent below February last year, Barfoot Thompson said on Monday.

The median price of $820,000 is 1.2 per cent below January and unchanged from February last year.

Meanwhile, the 665 sales in February were 12 per cent ahead of January, and 20 per cent up from February last year. The number of new listings in the month of 1747 is 46 per cent up from January, although 24 per cent below February last year.

“There is a growing acceptance that where prices are at presently is likely to be the benchmark for the remainder of the summer/autumn sales season,” said managing director Peter Thompson.

“Sales numbers were up, there was strong growth in new listings while prices, although softening a little on the previous three months, were stable.”

Auckland’s heated housing market has made accommodation unaffordable for many and caused headaches for policymakers as migrants and investors add to competition for a shortage of housing stock.

However, the Barfoot data shows an increase in the number of houses offered for sale may be cooling the market, as the number of available properties at the end of the month rose to 4648, 7.6 per cent ahead of January’s level and the highest since November last year.

The realtor noted that there were a relatively high number of properties sold in February for under $500,000. The 127 sales in this category accounted for 19 per cent of all sales, up from 8 per cent in January.

 

By Tina Morrison