The number of houses sold in the Western Bay of Plenty in October has dropped by half compared to the same time last year.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand today released its figures on sales volumes and median house prices, showing the Western Bay's 50 per cent drop.

Last month, there were 36 houses sold compared to 72 during October the year before.

Tauranga experienced a 9.6 per cent drop compared to October last year, while Rotorua dropped by 22.9 per cent and Whakatane by 6.3 per cent.

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In Tauranga, there were 226 houses sold last month. Last year, there were 250.

Despite the reduction in sales volumes, the Western Bay experienced an increase in median house prices and was the only area in the wider Bay to do so.

Western Bay median house prices went from $535,000 to $556,000 last month but Tauranga's prices went from $595,000 to $585,000.

Regional director Philip Searle said more listings were slowly coming to the Bay of Plenty market and auction clearance rates had improved.

"Prices are still holding firm with premiums being achieved for quality property. However, there are more conditional deals now that are subject to sale of an existing property of finance, and lending in the region is still restrictive.

"Looking forward, we anticipate more of the same with some investors selling as they are concerned by the talk coming from the new Government."