Average Auckland house prices dipped 1.3 per cent between January and February as more supply hit the market.

Barfoot & Thompson has just released its February figures which showed more properties being listed and January's average sale price of $757,319 dropping to $747,521 last month.

"Buyer choice increased in February through 1771 new listings in the month, which was the highest number in the past 16 months," said managing director Peter Thompson.

"With 843 sales in February, down 1.9 per cent on those in January but up 9.3 per cent on those in February last year, listings at month's end were 3258.


These numbers come just a day after state owned Valuer Quotable Value released its quarterly update, which showed residential property values across New Zealand rose at the fastest pace in five months.

National property values rose 6.4 percent over the past year, led by growth in Auckland, QV said.

Barfoot & Thompson's numbers relate to actual sales made by the company during February. It sells around one in three of Auckland residential homes.

"It means that we started March with the highest number of properties on our books since November last year, and a marked improvement over the 2500 listings at the end of December," said Thompson.

"Choice of property in the under $500,000 category remained strong with sales in this price bracket being a quarter of all sales in the month.

"At the same time sales of properties in the million dollar plus category in February, at 174, remained constant with sales numbers in January.

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"Property selling in the $750,000 to $1 million price category was in high demand.


"Property in this price range is often located in well-established suburbs which have older, quality homes where value can be added through remodelling and renovation," he said.

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler told a parliamentary committee last month that Auckland has a shortfall of properties needed to meet growing demand in New Zealand's fastest growing city.

The central bank is considering introducing other macro-prudential tools, rather than lift the official cash rate any further, to cool an overheated property market could cause a house price bubble and lead to financial instability.

ASB senior economist Chris Tennent-Brown said seasonally adjusted new listings lifted strongly in January (up 23 per cent), and were up again in February (by 2.6 per cent), but followed weak listings in December.

"Overall, the Auckland housing market remains very supply constrained and we expect continued upward pressure on Auckland house prices."

Declines in mortgage lending rates, strong population growth and high consumer confidence were also continuing to contribute to strong housing demand, Brown said.

Barfoot said the number of Auckland house sales were at their second highest level in a February for seven years, a significant increase in choice eased the pressure on values with the average and median sales prices for the month both edging down.

"This February was one of our busiest on record, with sales up by 9.3 per cent on those for the same period last year and new listings up 47.7 per cent on those for January," Thompson said.

"With choice far greater since November, some of the pressure on prices eased and buyers showed more caution about paying over the top to get properties," he said.

Average Auckland House Selling Prices:

• January $757,319
• February $747,521
• January $647,207
• February $678,533
• March $725,708
• April $708,603
• May $702,966
• June $714,054
• July $719,312
• August $711,768
• September $738,876
• October $736,238
• November $756,909
• December $758,89
Source: Barfoot & Thompson

with BusinessDesk