Real estate agents say an 11 per cent drop in Tauranga's sale volumes is nothing to panic about, as the traditional spring rush is yet to kick in.
The number of houses sold in Tauranga dropped 11.4 per cent last month compared with September last year, according to figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.
There were 218 properties sold in Tauranga last month, dropping from 246 in September 2017. This was the lowest volume sold in a month since January.
It was a nationwide trend, with a low number of properties being listed across the country in July translating to 3 per cent fewer houses sold in September.
However, local real estate experts were confident the market would pick up over spring.
Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Group, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said September sales had slowed following a record month for the business in August.
Anderson said the drop in the number of properties sold was due to a lack of property listings "but we are expecting a strong October".
He said first home buyers were coming into the market after gathering their finances and were now acting fast to secure the keys to their own home.
Auctions were proving strong, with buyers eyeing up the top end of the market, he said.
First National Mount Maunganui, Tauranga and Omokoroa owner Anton Jones said there was a noticeable drop in sale volumes in September with buyers having fewer properties to chose from.
"But that is nothing to be concerned about... it is already starting to heat up again and we are expecting that to continue," he said.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand regional director Philip Searle said new listings had attracted plenty of interest at first open home viewings in the Bay, as the market continued to flow forward.
"Interest was shown for properties in all price ranges, but the traditional spring rush hasn't quite kicked in yet," he said.
Searle said investors were interested but cautious with upcoming changes to the Healthy Homes legislation that could create opportunities for first home buyers as competition for affordable homes eased off.
Listing numbers slightly improved from August's very low numbers, which he said would hopefully be the start of a more active market as more vendors listed their properties while demand continued to drive the market up until Christmas.
LJ Hooker Rotorua director Malcolm Forsyth said there had been a gradual decline in sales volumes in the last six months. However, home values remained high.
"There is still a lot of buyers out there," he said. "There has been multiple interest on a lot of properties."
Forsyth said a drop in sale volumes was due to the cooler weather as well as a shortage in listings as Rotorua's population increased.
"There is a significant number of people coming to live," he said. "To accommodate that there has been a real surge around March, April, May. It took a bit of property out of circulation."
However, he said listings had started to free up for a more traditionally buoyant October and November.
First National principal and Rotorua REINZ spokeswoman Ann Crossley said there had not been a huge spring lift.
Crossley said the drop in sales volumes reflected a drop in available listings.
"Through the winter period, stock listings get lower and lower. We are really hoping to get a good strong lift," she said.
"There is an appetite to move if there was something to move to."
Median house prices
Bay of Plenty
September 2018: $550,000
September 2017: $547,500
August 2018: $562,500
September 2018: $632,000
September 2017: $625,000
August 2018: $640,000
Western Bay of Plenty
September 2018: $550,000
September 2017: $600,000
August 2018: $592,000
Source: Real Estate Institute of New Zealand