Auckland house sales volumes have fallen by a third annually and prices are down 0.8 per cent in the past month. Tougher bank lending regulations, winter and the upcoming national election are cited as influencing the slowdown.

Real Estate Institute data this morning showed Auckland sales fell by 33.2 per cent in the year to June, ahead of the national sales volume decline of 24.7 per cent for the same period.

In May, 2212 Auckland residential properties were sold, falling to 1769 by June - all down on the 2649 sold in June last year.

Auckland's median price fell 0.8 per cent from $857,000 in May to $850,000 last month. The national median price fell 1.1 per cent from $535,000 in May to $529,000 in June.


REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said many factors were having an effect on declining sales volumes.

"Inventory levels are impacting pricing, LVRs are having a significant impact in terms of buyers' ability to purchase properties - particularly for first-time buyers - and the major trading banks are being more cautious with their approach to lending,k particularly their view of how highly leveraged Kiwis are when it comes to properties," Norwell said.

It took a median 38 days to sell an Auckland house in June, compared to 36 days nationally.

The Auckland seasonally adjusted median house price rose 1 per cent between May and June. The national price fell 0.2 per cent in the same period, REINZ data showed.

Norwell said: "Talk of a decline in prices may be premature with the seasonally adjusted median price trends still rising across many regions in New Zealand. The Auckland market is the most mature in terms of the property cycle, however, at worst, prices in the Auckland region are steady at present.

"The data also shows an emerging trend of section sales in Auckland occurring more quickly than dwelling sales, highlighting that demand for sections is still rising in Auckland while demand for dwellings is easing," she said.

"With the looming election, Auckland prices are showing all the signs of stabilising that we would normally expect and we anticipate this being a similar trend over the coming months until the election is over," she said.

The REINZ data followed information last week showing Auckland prices declining in some areas.


QV's June data for the Auckland market showed Papakura values fell 1.8 per cent; Waitakere 0.6 per cent; Manukau northwest, Franklin 0.1 per cent; and Auckland City east and Auckland City south fell 0.5 per cent.

Year-on-year growth for the Auckland region was flat and New Zealand-wide growth had slowed to 8.1 per cent, QV said.

Figures from Auckland's largest real estate firm Barfoot & Thompson were even more downbeat, showing the average sale price in June dropped 3.1 per cent on the average for the previous three months, and was only 0.6 per cent higher than it was 12 months ago.