Auckland homeowners put just 1050 new properties up for sale last month, the lowest number in a decade, according to real estate agency Barfoot & Thompson.

The city's biggest real estate firm had just 4,830 properties on its books last month, the smallest number for four years, it said in a statement.

Still, Barfoot sold 778 homes in July, up almost 21 per cent from the same month though down 11 per cent from June.

The average sale price was $530,191, down 1 per cent from July 2010, and up by some $10,000 in June.


"Even though there are buyers out there, prices are increasing at only a nominal rate," managing director Peter Thompson said.

"Buyer are prepared to pay a fair market price, but not over the top."

Winter has bitten into people's enthusiasm for property, which was on the rebound after two years of tepid sales.

Record low interest rates have helped encourage people to return to the market, though the prospect of rising mortgage rates may sap that appetite.

ASB economist Chris Tennent-Brown said it was surprising, given the tightness in the market, that that average house prices from Barfoot and Thompson had been relatively steady over recent months.

"We expect ongoing tightness in the Auckland property market to be supportive of prices in the future, and price gains in Auckland are likely to be stronger than in most other regions over the year ahead."

- BusinessDesk / NZ HERALD ONLINE