Auckland house prices were rising at more than 20 per cent annually three years ago but now they're falling, down 2.2 per cent in the year to March 30, according to March data from the Real Estate Institute.

"Prices in Auckland fell 2.2 per cent year-on-year to $880,000 but this was compared to March 2017 which saw the region experience the record price of $900,000. It's also due to the mix of properties sold: the under $750,000 price band had 4 per cent more sales this March and the $750,000-$2 million price band had 5 per cent fewer sales. On a month-on-month basis, prices in Auckland increased 2.9 per cent," REINZ said.

Overall, New Zeland the number of house sales fell 9.9 percent and took a day longer to sell in March from a year earlier as a cooling Auckland property market continued to weigh on the national outlook.

The number of houses sold fell to 7,768 in March from 8.622 a year earlier, which was the biggest sales month in 2017, with Auckland sale numbers down 12 percent to 2,386, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand said in a statement. The median number of days to sell increased to 34 days from 33 days a year earlier, with Auckland at 36 days.

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While activity has been slowing, prices remain strong, with the house price index rising 4.2 percent to 2,710, a new record high. Excluding Auckland, the index climbed 7.2 percent, outpacing a 1 percent increase in the country's biggest city.

New house price records were set elsewhere in New Zealand. Gisborne prices rose 17.9 per cent annually to $330,000, the Hawke's Bay rose 11.7 per cent to $445,000 and Wellington prices rose 10 per cent to $583,000, REINZ said.

Auckland has also featured some way down on a global measure of house price rises.

On April 10, The Guardian reported on the Knight Frank residential index: "London was ranked 101st with a 2 per cent gain while Auckland in New Zealand, once gripped by a property frenzy, dropped to 99th with a 2.2 per cent increase," the newspaper reported.

Berlin topped the index with a 20.5 per cent jump last year. Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt were in the top 10 and sever Dutch cities were not far behind.

On April 5, Barfoot & Thompson said Auckland rebounded in March, with sales numbers the highest for a year and the average and median prices rose.

"March sales figures are always strong compared to the holiday affected trading figures of January and February," said managing director Peter Thompson.

The average sales price for March was $931,292, up 1.3 percent on February. "=The median sales price was $860,000, up 4.9 percent, Barfoot said.

Quotable Value's house price index showed national prices up 7.3 per cent in the year to March and 1.2 per cent in the last three months.