The number of homes for sale has slumped by almost 50 per cent, with asking prices doing the exact opposite, rising by almost 50 per cent, in the past decade.

Figures from realestate.co.nz show the number of properties on sale in New Zealand this October slumped to 24,307 from 47,958 in October 2007.

Meanwhile the number of homes listed for sale on the site, which hosts listings from many of the country's largest agencies, show asking prices have done the reverse, increasing by almost 50 per cent from $415,000 to $620,000.

Spokeswoman Vanessa Taylor said the impact of the global financial crisis, a drop in new builds and population growth meant the property market had struggled to recover.

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"In October 2007 we were months away from entering the period of the global financial crisis," Taylor said.

"New Zealand got hit, albeit relatively lightly, but it was a period when lending was tight, house values dropped and new housing construction fell dramatically."

She said the impact of this was being seen more strongly in recent years.

Realestate.co.nz figures show that in October 2014 the number of properties for sale sat at 39,917, compared with 24,307 in October this year, almost a 40 per cent fall in just three years.

Meanwhile the realestate.co.nz new listings were also down, with 988 fewer (down 8.4 per cent) listed around the country this October compared with the same month last year.

In October 2016 there were some 11,766 new listings, compared with only 10,778 this October.

Taylor said this wasn't a surprise, with both winter and the election period likely to have contributed to the drop in listings.

"When there's rain, wind and cool temperatures, prospective buyers tend not to venture out as much. We also had an election with property as a significant focus, so it's no surprise people would wait to see the outcomes."

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Taylor said the figures showed sales in the nation's biggest city, Auckland, were slower in comparison with other parts of the country.

"Auckland home owners are being realistic and nationally it's still a sellers' market, but less so in both the Auckland and Canterbury regions."

Harcourts chief executive Chris Kennedy said across the real estate firm had also seen a drop in its stock listed for sale.

In the rolling 12-month period to October 2007 compared with the same period ending in October 2017 Harcourts had seen a 21 per cent reduction in stock, from 39,000 10 years ago to 31,000 this year.

Kennedy said population and slow builds were a major factor in the drop in stock.

"If your stock levels are not being replaced as quickly as the population is growing, which we know it hasn't been, then you will see it declining."

The new Labour-led Government has promised to ramp up new builds, and has proposed its $2 billion KiwiBuild scheme would build 100,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years - half of which would be in Auckland.

Kennedy said the Labour-led Government's plan was an ambitious one that as yet did not have the workforce numbers to make it happen - and even if it did, he said, 100,000 was still not enough to address the shortage.

He suggested looking at ways to fast-track the resource and consents process to get new builds under way without compromising on quality and safety.

Trade Me head of property Nigel Jeffries estimated nationwide the shortage of houses was around 60,000 - with just over half needed in Auckland.

He applauded the new Labour-led Government's plans to build 100,000 new homes as an "excellent move that will help first-home buyers".

"The odds, however, are against achieving this in 10 years without significant change in how it is delivered.

"To improve these odds we would really need to take a leaf out of the Chinese approach to land acquisition, sales, supply chain and contractor resourcing."

Jeffries said the solution lay in a combination of intensification, high-rise options, infill housing and new town builds.

Numbers of houses for sale

Auckland 8465
Northland 1247
Waikato 1672
Wellington 1129
Canterbury 3693
Otago 645
Southland 612
Source realestate.co.nz