Auckland property sales activity has dipped as the general election fast approaches. New listings fell 22 per cent last month compared with the same month last year, according to real estate firm Harcourts.

Election concerns aside, Harcourts said it was "undeniable" the housing market and generally slowed across the country.

Harcourts' latest Market Watch reported that a fall in acitivity was to be expected in the month leading up to an election, when listings are generally down by about 20 per cent before voters head to the ballot box.

Sales were also down by 5 per cent compared to last year and the average house price in Auckland fell slightly by 2.6 per cent to $940,569.


New auctions in Auckland fell by 46 per cent in August to 186 compared with August last year.

Harcourts NZ chief executive Chris Kennedy said he expects a recovery after the election, when speculation around who will form the next government is over.

"However, it is also undeniable that there has been a general slowing in the housing market across New Zealand, and particularly in Auckland, due to Reserve Bank restrictions and a sharp decline in the number of foreign buyers," he said.

Kennedy said there will not be a "crash" as low supply and high demand remain the main drivers of New Zealand's property market.

Net immigration in the year to March 31 was close to 72,000, and construction of new houses was not coming close to keeping up with demand, he said.

The election will be held on September 23.

- Staff reporter