Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Auckland property – Barfoot & Thompson sales plummet 41% as pandemic bites

Auckland house sales by the city’s largest realtor dropped 41 per cent last month compared to October last year.

In one of the most graphic illustrations of the pandemic’s toll on Auckland’s economy, Barfoot & Thompson has released its sales figures for last month.

Agents there made 1259 unconditional property sales in Auckland last October but under the lockdown, that dropped to just 735 sales last month. Figures for the volume of unconditional sales where commissions have been paid showed that last October, 1319 properties were sold but last month, that fell to just 814 properties.

Peter Thompson, managing director, said given the restraints agents were operating under, it was an “outstanding” month of trading.

Sale prices edged up to hit a median $1.15m, up on August’s $1.13m and September’s $1.1m.

Listing numbers have ballooned to 3041, up from September’s 2727 and 2601 properties for sale by the agency.

New listings at 2012 in October were 5 per cent down on last year’s level, which was unaffected by any lockdown, and more than double those for September, Thompson said.

Vendors had to overcome many challenges to prepare their properties for sale and buyers were presented with the greatest level of choice they have had for seven months.

The average sales price increase in October over last year’s price for the same month is 13.8 per cent, and that for the median price is 18.9 per cent.

Contributing to the increase in average and median prices was buyer focus returning to higher-priced properties.

In October, 85 per cent of sales were for properties that sold for more than $750,000. In September, the percentage was 77 per cent.

“The high level of new listings in October contributed to available property at month-end increasing to 3041,” Thompson said.

Although this is at the highest level in five months, it is still 19.1 per cent behind the monthly average level for last year, he noted.

The Real Estate Authority said yesterday it couldn’t force agents to be vaccinated and the Government didn’t require them to be.

Belinda Moffat, Authority chief executive, said agents were not required to be vaccinated and her entity certainly could not force them to be.

Nor does it know how many of the 16,195 licensed agents have had the Pfizer vaccination.

“The authority does not have the mandate to require vaccination or vaccination certificates in the real estate sector,” Moffat said.

Her comments follow a Herald story about Ray White Remuera agent Roy Champtaloup who is banned from his Remuera office for not being vaccinated.

“There is no mandate for the real estate sector to be vaccinated or to have vaccine certificates,” Moffat said.

Education and health staff including teachers need to be fully vaccinated soon or face losing their jobs. Last month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced workers at businesses where vaccine passports are required will have four weeks to get the jab – or risk losing their jobs

But real estate agents are not on the Government’s vaxed hit list.

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