Barfoot & Thompson post a record year of sales for 2013

by Alistair Helm in ,

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The largest real estate company in Auckland, Barfoot & Thompson published their most recent sales report for the last month of December capping off what has been a stellar year for the company.

Whilst December witnessed a slowing of sales with just 817 properties sold down from the 920 sold in the December last year the company accounted for sales of 13,123 properties in the past 12 months a growth of 12% amounting to an extra 1,413 sales compared to 2012. Set against a total of 31,782 properties sold in Auckland in the past year this gives Barfoot & Thompson a market share of 41% - 2 of every 5 homes sold in Auckland was sold by them in the past year.

The key statistic though is the shear scale of transaction value - $8.5 billion of property sales undertaken by the company, an increase of 24% on the prior year. The company currently is selling  properties at the rate of over 6 properties every hour of the working week and billing services at the rate of around $100,000 every hour of the working week.

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The company has benefited from the significant resurgence of the property market in Auckland selling more than twice as many properties in 2013 than in 2008 at the depth of the property collapse. in dollar terms the value of sales have risen faster especially over the past 3 years with value of sales up 68% in just 2 years.

The stellar rise in sales volumes though does show signs of slowing as analysis of the past few months shows. On a seasonally adjusted basis December sales were down 6% following a 12% seasonally adjusted sales volume fall in November. As cited last month part of the reason for the fall could well be put down to the impact on the first time buyer segment as a result of the Reserve Bank restrictions on high LVR lending.

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The latest analysis of the sales volume by price segment of Barfoot & Thompson sales data shows that this bottom segment - sub $400k which is very much a target market for first time buyers remains a declining proportion of Barfoot &Thompson’s portfolio of sales. In November it represented 17% - a month later it had fallen to 16%. A year ago this segment accounted for nearly 1 in 4 of all sales, such has been the slide in activity in this segment of the market.

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This movement between price segments has been a trend witnessed across all property sales over the past 4 years as the market demands of property in the Auckland region have accelerated prices and fuelled higher priced segments. 

In the past year alone Barfoot & Thompson has sold over 1,500 properties at a price of over $1,000,000 , this compares to 500 just 3 years ago and in the $2,000,000 and above segment sales in 2013 totalled 176 properties compared to just 52, 3 years ago - that is going from selling 1 per week to selling 3 per week.

Three years ago the largest segment of sales representing 2 in every 5 properties sold by Barfoot & Thompson were at a price of less than $400,000; whereas today that largest segment is represented by property priced between $600,000 and $1 million which represents 1 in 3 of all sales, whereas property below $400,000 has slipped to less than 1 in 4 of all sales.

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Clearly the Auckland market continues to show strong demand and appreciating prices - in December Barfoot and Thompson reported that the average price for all property sold in the month has exceeded $700,000 for the first time ever. That growth is not likely to be arrested any time soon given the signals of economic growth and vibrancy of the Auckland economy in the coming year.