The average selling price for homes in the Auckland market rose by 1.5 per cent last month, says the region's biggest real estate agency Barfoot and Thompson.

It takes the average price for the month to $627,721.

"In the past two months we have seen house values lift to a new high-water mark," said Peter Thompson, company managing director.

"For much of this year the average price moved between $580,000 and $590,000 but with two consecutive months of trading at an average price well above $600,000, the entire pricing structure has lifted.


Thompson said while there could be some easing of average prices during the Christmas/New Year period, during the prime summer trading months of February and March average prices were "likely to return to the low $600,000s."

"Telling signs that higher prices have become entrenched are the 146 homes that sold for in excess of $1 million, a quarter more than we have ever sold in one month previously, and that 43 per cent of homes sold for less than $500,000, whereas on average the number is normally half.

He said 1769 properties were listed in November - the highest number in one month for nearly five years.

Westpac Bank economist Michael Gordon said the November Barfoot and Thompson figures showed that the region's housing market "cooled a little in November compared to a frenetic October."

Seasonally adjusted sales numbers showed a fall of 6.3 per cent, though this followed a 15 per cent jump in October, and was still the second-highest level of sales so far in this upturn.

Similarly, seasonally adjusted sale prices had actually dropped 1.1 per cent after a 3.2 per cent jump in October.

Gordon said this measure was not adjusted for the composition of houses being sold, so he put less weight on monthly movements.

But sale prices were still up 10.6 per cent on a year ago, compared to 11.7 per cent in October.

"Supply in the Auckland housing market has tightened even further. New listings were 2.9 per cent higher for the month, but they have been broadly flat over the last six months, failing to match the upturn in sales over that time."

As a result, the total number of listings is now equivalent to just 3.5 months' worth of sales, down from 3.7 months in October. This is the lowest ratio since December 2003.

"Setting aside the choppy monthly details, the housing market still appears to be in a strengthening phase," said Gordon. "With record-low mortgage rates already clearly boosting the market, and with the Reserve Bank now obliged to monitor asset prices under its new Policy Targets Agreement, we suspect the Reserve Bank will have little enthusiasm for OCR cuts."

Barfoot and Thompson's Peter Thompson said new listings were being helped with a greater number of home owners making the decision to follow through with their future housing intentions now that higher prices are being achieved.

"These buyers who are either trading up or down, combined with new arrivals or those looking for rental investments, were higher in number than available stock, and this led to keen buying, particularly at auctions," he said.

Sales numbers for the month were up 4 per cent from the month before at 1124, which was a 25.7 per cent hike on the same month last year.