Auckland's largest real estate agency had its busiest January in a generation, but prices dipped from December.
"This January was the most active January we have experienced as an agency for 17 years," Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said.
The agency sold 1086 houses over the month at an average price of $1,068,134.
"Even during the height of the last property cycle we never came close to selling this many homes in a January."
"What made such a high turnover possible was the extraordinarily high level of new listings for the month. At 1378, it was the highest in a January for eight years."
But although sales and listing numbers hit records for January, and the average selling price was 12.2 per cent up on the same month a year ago, the number of sales was down 26.6 per cent over December, and the average sales price (down 3 per cent to $1,068,134 and median sales price (down 2.2 per cent to $975,000) both fell.
Thompson said the dips were not an indication that prices have peaked.
"The average and median prices invariably dip between January and December given the absence of many high-end buyers from the market over the holiday season, and it is not until March that high-end property sales again start to have a greater influence on sales data," he said.
"In January we sold 72 homes for in excess of $2 million. While this is high for a January, in the last three months of last year we sold more than 100 homes in this price category each month.
"The strong sales numbers in January have set the market up for an active first quarter's trading.
At the end of the month we had 3131 properties on our books. Compared to recent years this is relatively low but with so many buyers in the market we anticipate a steady flow of new listings in the next few months.
"The rural and lifestyle property markets also experienced extremely strong starts to the year.
"With a greater number of people either able or willing to work more from home, lifestyle living has increased in popularity, and this is creating intense demand.
"Our agents report excellent numbers at open homes in the rural areas ringing Auckland such as Kumeu, Waimauku, Helensville, Pukekohe, Papakura and Waiuku.
"With 63 sales in January, new lifestyle listings are urgently needed. To the north of Auckland, our lifestyle listings are at their lowest in 7 years."