And it certainly felt like it at Ray White Damerell’s Ponsonby, Mt Albert and Birkenhead offices with record numbers of properties to sell and the sales that followed, plus days on market across Auckland falling by eight days – that’s over a week off the normal three-week marketing, bringing most sale cycles to under two weeks. Incredible. Fortunately for us it was not about a crystal ball or star gazing, it was recognising and acting on all the early signals back in November and December that indicated the pendulum was in full swing and that we needed to keep going.
The early start to the New Year kicked off confidently for us, with record levels of well-marketed homes opening their doors to as many potential buyers as possible. And they came in droves, in their shorts and jandals, forgoing time at the beach in return for a chance to buy a new home. This confidence was driven by a strong economy, good employment rates, the on-going legacy of record low interest rates, plus large amounts of savings available for first-time buyers in the form of KiwiSaver funds.
Greater Ponsonby came off its high of December slightly, as the stock levels across the area dropped off. A positive that we did observe, however, is that interest in top-end properties in these more affluent suburbs has returned, with more viewings and offers occurring this part of the market.
The Eden Quarter continues to be a star attraction for young families and professional couples. With a median of $950,000, incredibly affordable character homes, great transport links, and fabulous local restaurants and cafés, who can blame them?
Moving through the city fringes and into the western corridor, we saw a very promising start to the year with property flying out of the door – a total of 45 sales for the area, up an impressive 45 per cent when compared to January last year. And we expect to see further volume increases month-on-month up until April.
The success of our auction campaigns across the western fringe continue to keep the median days on market down to a hasty 26 days. Blockhouse Bay still features as the place to be with good confidence around the median sale value, both month-on-month and year-on-year. Further out west, across Greater Avondale, sales volumes saw a similar upward swing with the number of properties sold up a third compared to January '19.
Titirangi is still a shining light through the corridor. It saw a 40 per cent increase in sales compared to January 2019, fulfilling the suburb’s reputation of providing the best of everything, from the chill factor to the character and design of some of the best examples on mid century homes in the country.
On the lower North Shore sales are looking steady with just a single sale being the difference between overall sale numbers this January (33), compared with the same month one year ago (34). The median sale price for the region is equally as steady – just a 2 per cent drop from this time 12 months ago. Strong attention from first homebuyers and investors are continuing to bring strength to the area.
Out to the Gulf Islands we paddle, where the tide has lifted year-on-year median house prices. However, there are still some great opportunities out there to buy an affordable lifestyle, or a getaway bolthole.
Average days on market over the period February 2019 to January 2020 were well below the industry standard, at 26 days for auctions (inclusive of deadline sales), with most of our January listings coming in well below this figure.
While the market has momentum like this, it is a great time to consider your options around what your real-estate needs will be in the next 12 months. We are always happy to provide you with market intelligence around an appraisal, or simply just talk you through your options, so please call us for a confidential conversation. And for those who are looking to buy, please call or email us to register for our weekly ‘New Listings’ email that comes out every Thursday, ahead of the weekend, so you can plan your open home schedule.
February for us is about history repeating itself. With record stock levels still in hand and still pumping through the pipeline, we look forward to reporting very positively to you again next month.