House prices have cooled off significantly in Auckland but are yet to drop to a level where homeowners could find themselves saddled with more debt than their properties are worth.
It’s a buyer’s market in the city – figures show the average asking price is down almost $100,000 since a high three years ago.
It was a slow day in the auction room at one of Auckland’s busiest residential realtors, with homes passing in and sellers negotiating down asking prices. Only two of 12 homes sold under the hammer at Barfoot and Thompson’s auction today, with another two selling soon after.
Director Kiri Barfoot said more than half its homes going to auction were selling afterwards, but there was buyer interest in the housing market.
“The Auckland property market is steady with no wild variations. There’s definitely been a change since the last couple of years but we are still selling property and in fact the last couple of weeks before Easter we sold 5 percent more properties than we did in the same two weeks last year,” she said.
The latest figures from Quotable Value showed Auckland values alone were down 1.5 percent for the year to April, while many towns in the regions banked increases.
Figures from Realestate.co.nz also showed the mean asking price for a house in Auckland dropped $100,000 to below $900,000 in April, the lowest since 2016.
Property experts say Auckland’s houseprices are dipping due to restrictions on lending and fewer foreign speculators in the market.
CoreLogic senior property economist Kelvin Davidson said buyers were in no rush and had the luxury of choice.
“Listings are as high as they’ve ever been for the last 10 years in Auckland so you’ve got plenty of choice and it’s definitely a buyer’s market you can shop around and to some extend upgrade your location so I’d say it’s definitely a buyer’s market,” Mr Davidson said.
Mr Davidson said the risk of homeowners being left with loans bigger than their properties’ worth was far off, given banks now required a higher deposit and most people were employed.
Some buyers are playing a waiting game with vendors to get a good price.
First home buyer Anna Hardie has been looking for a home to buy in Auckland with her husband for the past two months, but they are in no hurry to buy.
“We put an offer on a house out west Auckland but it was out of our league so we’ve only put a backup offer on a property in Waiuku so far, we’re just waiting at the moment,” she said.
Meanwhile, with Capital Gains Tax off the table for now, Barfoot and Thompson said it had seen some investors return to the Auckland property market.
All eyes will be on their latest sales figures, released tomorrow.
Source: Radio NZ