Auckland average residential asking prices have dropped more than $18,000 in just a month, from $851,531 in September to $832,713 last month.

Data from realestate.co.nz showed Auckland's drop was reflected elsewhere: nationally, the asking price fell from $568,215 in August to $539,823 last month and Canterbury asking prices fell from $476,818 in September to $467,403 last month.

Brendon Skipper, realestate.co.nz chief executive, said prices had hit a plateau after record highs.

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Curbs cooling house market, Westpac says
Chinese buyers back off housing market says economist

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After many months of new record high average asking prices had been recorded nationally and across many regions, those had now levelled off in October, he said.

More information about the current state of the housing market is due later today, with Quotable Value releasing its monthly house price index at noon.

Westpac New Zealand expects Auckland's heated housing market to cool following regulatory changes. Speaking yesterday after the bank reported a 6 per cent lift in annual cash earnings to a record $916 million, chief executive David McLean said anecdotal indicators, such as auction clearance rates, pointed to a slowdown.

A combination of factors were cooling the market, including Reserve Bank lending restrictions and a new requirement in which foreign investors need to have a New Zealand bank account and IRD number, McLean said.

BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander expressed much the same sentiments last week.
Chinese buyers are showing less of an appetite for our houses, having backed off, he said, citing what he called "roadblocks" to them buying.

"Chinese buyers have also backed off as they see a lengthening series of small roadblocks put in their way - consider wealth lost through China's sharemarket rout and struggle to get funds out of China amidst a new crackdown on capital outflows by the authorities," Alexander said.

From October 1, a New Zealand IRD number has been be required as part of the land transfer process. Non-resident buyers and sellers must also provide their tax identification number from their home country and non-residents need a New Zealand bank account before they can get an IRD number in order to buy a property.

Skipper of realestate.co.nz said his latest data showed rising listings.

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The traditional surge in new properties coming onto the market in spring is well evident this year. Coupled with this, average asking prices nationally have eased from record highs in recent months, according to data from Realestate.co.nz, New Zealand's largest website dedicated only to property.

"The number of new listings coming onto the market in October is up significantly on last month, as we have come to expect in spring," he said.

A total of 13,405 new properties were listed last month, 12 per cent up on September.

"It may well be that the supply of properties plays its part in the slight easing in asking prices we're seeing," Skipper said.