How has the COVID-19 lockdown impacted Auckland’s housing market?

Realtor identifies what has helped vendors and buyers

How has the COVID-19 lockdown impacted Auckland’s housing market?

Auckland remains in lockdown due to COVID-19 concerns. However, despite a slight dampening effect, the region did not see a significant impact on its residential property sales in August 2021, according to Barfoot & Thompson.

Barfoot & Thompson’s latest data found that sales and prices stood up well during the first two weeks of the lockdown, thanks to the systems and procedures the industry and other professions such as banking and legal have put in place to enable trading to carry on.

Peter Thompson, the managing director of Barfoot & Thompson, said these procedures helped vendors and buyers to progress negotiations and contractual proceedings around properties that had been viewed before the lockdown commenced.

“By the end of the month, this sales pipeline was shrinking, and, not surprisingly, sales for the month at 1,020 were down significantly on the level of trading we experienced for the previous three months,” Thompson said.

Barfoot & Thompson’s weekly sales data also revealed that sales numbers are two-thirds of what they might otherwise have been had the lockdown not occurred.

“Regardless, at 1,020, they were excellent for a winter month. If you exclude last year when the market was still recovering from last year’s two-month lockdown, sales were more than 20% higher than we normally achieve in August,” Thompson said.

Read more: Housing market to experience ‘pent-up demand’ under Level 3 lockdown – realty boss

In August 2021, the prices paid for properties remained solid, with the median price having increased by 2.6% to $1,130,000 and the average price having eased by 0.2% to $1,181,596 – putting the year-on-year median price increase at 23.9% and the average price increase at 18.7%.

Moreover, two-thirds of the homes sold in August were for more than $1 million, and 12% of all sales were properties that sold for $2 million or more.

“Given the circumstances, new listings for the month at 1,258 were excellent, although down on where the market was at prior to lockdown,” Thompson said. “It ensured that buyers had a modest level of choice, and at month-end, we had 2,601 properties on our books, 28 lower than at the start of the month and our lowest number in more than four years.”

However, the realtor expects sales numbers in Auckland to drop in September as the COVID-19 lockdown continues, which is likely to see prices holding or increasing, rather than dropping.