Auckland's housing market had its quietest July in seven years according to monthly figures for Barfoot & Thompson, the real estate firm handling nearly a third of Auckland sales.
Prices have fallen further, consolidating a slowdown in the market which economists believe will last at least until the election on September 23.
The Barfoot numbers to the end of July show the median sales price was down 3.6 per cent compared to June and 4 per cent when compared to the average median price for the previous three months.
Last month the median figures to the end of June showed a fall across the three months of 3.1 per cent.
The average sales price across Auckland during July was more stable but, at $908,319 it is now just 5 per cent up on the same time last year and down 0.6 per cent on the previous month.
The data followed Quotable Value statistics for July earlier this week.
They showed that residential property values across the Auckland Region increased 5.3 per cent year on year which is the slowest annual rate of growth seen since May 2012.
Quarterly value growth has plateaued for the second month in a row at zero per cent, over the past three months.
"Winter traditionally sees a slowing in the market and this winter has been no different," said Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson.
"In July we listed 1173 new properties, which is the lowest number for the same month in the past seven years, and 25 per cent lower than in June," he said.
"Despite fewer new listings, by the end of the month we had 4088 available listings, 36 per cent higher compared to July last year and down only 5 per cent from June. At the same time, sales numbers at 747 meant this was the quietest July since 2010."
A combination of the Reserve Bank's LVR restrictions, tighter bank lending and a slowing of Chinese investment money as Beijing tightens capital controls have been cited by economists as reasons for dampened demand.
"Without question it will take some time for both buyers and vendors to navigate the changing market," Thompson said. "Opportunities for vendors to sell are still plentiful, however sellers need to be willing to set themselves realistic expectations and listen to what the market is telling them."
ASB economist Kim Mundy said she expected the softness to continue, at least until after the NZ election.
"We expect both sales and new listings to remain soft over the next few months. But this could see inventory levels stabilise, or tighten slightly, rather than keep creeping higher," she said. "Once we are through the election, we expect the imbalance between housing construction and population growth will keep a floor under Auckland house prices."
While the turnaround in the market is now quite stark, data for the last decade, published by Barfoot & Thompson last week, showed Auckland's top 20 suburbs had risen by between 120 and 197 per cent.