Auckland's biggest real estate agency, with more than 40 per cent of the market, says sales activity was subdued last month and spring failed to spark activity.

Barfoot & Thompson data showed a relatively static volume of sales lately: 1306 in May, 1168 in June, 1034 in July, 1003 in August and 1051 last month. Median residential sale prices were $809,500 in May, $839,500 in June, $840,000 in July, $850,000 in August and $850,000 in September.

New listing numbers have fallen most months lately, from 1905 in May to 1770 in June, 1426 in July, rising to 1706 in August but then falling again last month to 1536.

Peter Thompson, Barfoot managing director, blamed tighter mortgage lending restrictions and perceptions that residential property was fully priced.


"In September new listings were down, and sales numbers and prices were restrained. With the arrival of Spring, housing activity normally lifts, but it has not been the case this year," Thompson said.

"Rather the market continued the trend which first showed in July of prices increasing at a much slower rate that in the past two to three years. While in September the average price increased, compared to August, the median price actually stayed constant.

"The average sales price in September was $919,849. This is 1.5 percent higher than for August, but is up only 2.9 percent on the average for the previous three months.

"The median price movement is even narrower, and at $850,000 is exactly the same as it was in August and up only 0.8 percent for the previous three months.

"Compared to what was happening to prices last September the Auckland housing market is subdued and we are now looking at a totally different market to 12 months ago.

"Sales for September at 1051 were up 4.8 percent on those for August but down 2 percent on the average for the previous three months," Thompson said.

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