Seasonal fluctuation in Auckland's property prices indicate it could be wise to buy in December and sell in February.
Last week, the latest QV House Price Index showed prices in the Super City had flat-lined over the past three months, with 0.2 per cent growth, with suburbs in the north, south and west showing a dip in prices.
Homes.co.nz spokesman Jeremy O'Hanlon cautioned people not to take the trend as an assurance the market would continue to cool.
"February traditionally shows a spike in average sales price, so what happens this month will be our first real view as to how much the market has cooled in Auckland."
He said people should keep the seasonal trends in mind when looking to buy or sell, and said the data favoured selling in February and buying in December
Data from the free property site indicated that across the past five years February saw the largest growth each year; the average month-on-month difference in sale prices across the past five years was 8.07 per cent.
O'Hanlon said sales histories across the past five years in central Auckland also shows traditionally property markets did tend to cool down right before the summer holidays - which led to an inevitable peak in property prices in the New Year.
"It's easy to forget that there's a clear seasonality to property, and the market generally cools over December and January; even in the midst of a boom."
The homes.co.nz figures showed December experienced the biggest seasonal drop, down 6.48 per cent in its average month on month difference in sale prices.
This was followed by January with a drop of 4.11 per cent.
QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said the figures were in line with the typical slowdown over the summer holidays.
"Christmas is a very busy time as it's also the end of the school year and the beginning of the annual summer holiday period so many businesses shut down for three weeks, there are numerous public holidays and people go away on holiday.
"This means that fewer people are out purchasing property and it also means listings levels are lower, usually as many people wait until after Christmas to put their homes on the market."
QV data showed sales volumes tended to drop off markedly between November to December, then were typically even lower in January before jumping back up in February.
"February and March is consistently the highest sales volume month on the annual cycle."
Harcourts chief executive Chris Kennedy said if there wasn't a pickup in prices in February "then you could start talking about trends".
"If there is not a pickup by February, then you can start talking about trends."
Kennedy said while recent figures showed there was a more balanced market across the country that allowed for growth, it wasn't moving as fast as the past two years.
"It's important to remember that a market cooling isn't the same as saying a bubble is bursting," he said. "2015 was an unusual year and coming back a little from those levels of sales and inflated prices does not mean disaster."
Average month-on-month difference in prices across Auckland Central
January: - 4.11 per cent
February: 8.07 per cent
March: 2.55 per cent
April: 0.69 per cent
May: 2.13 per cent
June: 0.7 per cent
July: -0.04 per cent
August: 1.07 per cent
September: 0.57 per cent
October: 1.8 per cent
November: 2.81 per cent
December: -6.48 per cent
Figures from homes.co.nz