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Realism important in subdued Auckland property market, Barfoot says

Realistic buyers and sellers have the best chance of success in the current property market, one real estate agency says.

Auckland firm Barfoot & Thompson said the average sales price of the properties it sold in August was $918,926, up on July but down on the average of the previous three months.

The agency's median price was $820,000, down from $840,000 in June but up from $810,000 in July.

Sales numbers fell 8.3 per cent month-on-month on a seasonally-adjusted basis in July but picked up 4.4 per cent in August. Sales are still down more than a quarter on the same time a year ago.

"The reality of the situation is that prices are remaining stable, and sales numbers are running at two-thirds of where they were 12 months ago," said managing director Peter Thompson.

"Buyers and sellers who accept that reality and are prepared to buy or sell at market are the ones achieving the outcomes they are seeking. Those who are looking to get a bargain, or selling at way above market, are missing out."

He said the firm listed 1260 new properties for sale in August, down 15.5 per cent on the average of the previous three months. But he said that was not unexpected a month out from the election.

"At month end we had 3993 properties on our books, the lowest number for the past six months but still more than a quarter higher than at this time last year," he said.

"It means we enter the general election month with the highest number of properties at the start of a September for six. It provides a good platform for the market to operate from once the election is behind us."

ASB economists said the statistics showed "subdued signs of life" in the market.

They said, once the election was over, high population growth and slow housing construction would limit how much further Auckland house prices could fall.

Just over a third of the agency's sales were for more than $1 million. Ninety properties sold for less than $500,000, or 11.6 per cent.

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