As we came off the back of Level 2, the real estate market was quick to regain its energy – not dissimilar to what we saw with the retail market – with some suburbs peaking faster than others, depending on the need of the buyers. We believe that this flurry of activity was most probably attributed to the long line of banked-up buyers ‘waiting at the gate’, driven by a real fear of missing out.
That said, Interest rates remain low and the LVR (loan-to-value ratio) is gone – both of which have helped to keep demand for good properties high, especially among first-time homebuyers. As such, prices are holding well across all of the suburbs we operate in, despite speculation by the media that they would drop, once the novelty of ‘being back to normal’ wore off.
Coming into May, we had a healthy backlog of great listings at all levels. However, the combination of a large and sustained appetite from homebuyers, plus a slowdown of new listings coming onto the market, has put sellers firmly in the driving seat. Presently, we have a large number of motivated buyers ranging from first-timers, in particular, right up to $3m-plus buyers looking for family homes in top locations.
Auctions are gathering momentum, both in the number of properties going to market and the activity in the auction room on the night, with plenty of registered bidders for all properties. Also, leading up to the auctions, we had plenty of multiple offers on the table, which provided us with good market information for our vendors to make informed decisions. Although auctions are making a strong comeback, deadline sales remain the preferred method of sales, making up for nearly 80% of sales in the past year.
Around The Suburbs
With 31 sales in May, it was a great post-lockdown kick-off for sellers in these ever-popular, city fringe suburbs. While most of the indicators were downward pointing – which was to be expected compared with the previous month of April in lockdown – there was a good mix of sales across all values, from the $1m entry level properties, rising consistently through to the top-end $3m-plus homes, which attracted good numbers and multiple offers.
Although May saw a slight downward move in values on this time last year, Eden Quarter is holding well in this comeback market, as first-home buyers and young families appreciate the benefits of this area and all it has to offer – not least the opportunity to buy well at the circa $1m price point.
A popular suburb with a strong attraction for first-time homebuyers looking for sub-$1m properties within easy reach of the city, Te Atatu took a year-on-year lift of 8% in May.
Lockdown delivered Titirangi an interesting twist of fate. Traditionally, June would see this hilly suburb winding down into a winter market, but with a post-lockdown spike of interest, the suburb took an upward swing, with sales numbers 2% above this time last year and gaining momentum. This made up for the stall in the market as a consequence of the March-April lockdown.
Auckland City Apartments
Activity in the city during June was solid, with 46 sales and values up 33% on last year. There was a broad mix of buyers/sellers, with some choosing to move out into the suburbs, investors cashing up, and those deciding that apartment-style living in the city is now the way to go.
Median sale prices remain above the $1m mark, sitting at $1,060,000 for the month of May – up 7% on this time last year. Sales volumes are down 45% on May 2019. However, that’s still a good bounce back from April’s sales figures during the height of lockdown.