A major Auckland auction this week saw half the properties failing to sell under the hammer and vendor expectations of high prices are being cited as the reason.

Campbell Dunoon, Barfoot & Thompson auction manager, indicated the event at the firm's offices at 34 Shortland St on Wednesday recorded a 50 per cent clearance rate.

"We sold eight out of 16 properties," he said referring to reserves which meant bidding failed to reach the necessary threshold.

"Some prices were very close to vendor expectations but not quite at a level where we could sell," Dunoon said.

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Those that did sell were not far from the CBD, he said.

"Most of these were in the inner suburbs such as Remuera, Mission Bay, Grey Lynn and Mt Eden," Dunoon said.

Auction clearance rates as low as 16 per cent emerged last month, a big contrast to when Auckland clearance rates were as high as 80 per cent or above a few years ago.

Late last month, Dunoon said a Manukau auctions saw 48 properties called: eight were sold under the hammer but another four were sold straight afterwards making a total of 12 by 5pm the next day, he said. That gave a 16 per cent clearance rate on the day but a 25 per cent clearance rate subsequently, his numbers showed.

Dunoon said this week that more places would be auctioned next week.

Places which failed to sell at the auction were often now being advertised at a set dollar sum, he said.

"It is common for vendors who have not sold by auction to put a fixed price on their property immediately after auction. In addition, it may also reflect the time of year where vendors are happy to put a price on their home, with minimal marketing - no open homes - as a to have a passive presence throughout the holiday period. Increased marketing activity then kicks in after the holidays," Dunoon said.

Three sets of data out this month also indicated a change in Auckland.

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The Real Estate Institute said Auckland house prices had fallen 4 per cent in the last month and sales volumes were down 5 per cent year on year.

Barfoot & Thompson said this month that the Auckland market had "turned" and there were signs of price rises slowing.

The QV House Price Index, also out this month, showed Auckland's 3.7 per cent quarterly value rise the slowest since January last year.