Housing market activity in the month of September failed to meet the high of previous months, with this year being dubbed "the year of unpredictability".

Realestate.co.nz spokesperson Vanessa Taylor said September's low highlighted the nature of the property market being unpredictable.

"Typically we can see trends around what happens during the different phases of a year, such as a slow-down in the winter months and a resurgence in spring, but 2016 is The Year of Unpredictability," Taylor said.

The number of new property listings across the country dropped 12.2 per cent in September from the previous year. Total housing stock decreased 23 per cent.


"Traditional seasonal behaviour is diminishing as sellers appear to be more focused on selling at a premium particularly in markets like Auckland, while buyers are considering all their options and properties are now taking a longer time to turn over," Taylor said.

Auckland was the only region to see housing stock levels increase - up 4 per cent.

House asking prices in Auckland hit a new all-time high at $933,435 in September, up 2.8 per cent on the previous month.

Taylor said fewer new listings meant sellers were looking to command higher prices.

"On the other hand, if there were no new listings coming onto the Auckland market, all existing properties would now take 12 weeks to sell, which indicates a slow-down in activity," she said.

Buyer sentiment had appeared to shift from a "must buy now mentality" to a more considered view of options, Taylor said.

In Wellington new property listings fell 8.1 per cent in September.

"Wellington is an example of the unpredictable nature of the industry at this time, given that in August 2016 new listings increased by 36.8 per cent compared to August 2015," Taylor said.


Property asking prices in Wellington rose 1.4 per cent compared to the month prior.

New listings fell 4.7 per cent in Canterbury and 12.6 per cent in Otago.