Auckland's average house sale price dropped by just over $15,000 in the last month while the city's median fell $10,000, according to new data out this morning from Barfoot & Thompson.

The agency, with more than 40 per cent of the city's house sales market, today announced January's $934,753 average sale price fell to $919,454 last month while January's $830,000 median dropped to $820,000.

The number of Barfoot listings is up. Inventory jumped from 4320 available listings at the end of January to 4648 listings at the end of February. New listings rose from 1200 in January to 1747 last month.

Peter Thompson, Barfoot managing director, said sales activity had returned to the Auckland market in February but he acknowledged prices "eased back" on those being achieved for the previous three months.


"Caution as to which direction the market is likely to take eased in February. There is a growing acceptance that where prices are at present is likely to be the benchmark for the remainder of the summer/autumn sales season. Sales numbers were up, there was strong growth in new listings while prices, although softening a little on the previous three months, were stable. Combined with the relatively high number of properties on the market, the current stable conditions make it a good time to be looking to buy," Thompson said.

"Sales numbers for the month at 665 were up 12.1 percent on those for January, and were up 19.6 percent on those for the previous February. The average sales price at $919,454 was down 1.6 percent on that for January, and down 1.1 percent on the average price for the previous three months. A feature of February's trading was the relatively high number of sales of properties valued at under $500,000," Thompson said.

Today's Herald property report has agency chiefs saying the house sales market is entering a steady phase. Harcourts chief executive Chris Kennedy said that in the past quarter "We've started to move back towards a good, balanced market."

Thompson said in the feature that he was positive about Auckland's housing market this year. The cycle of prices rising rapidly had been overcome and for the past four months, prices had been stable, he said.