Auckland's biggest real estate agency group Barfoot and Thompson has reported it sold 637 properties in August, which was down 23% from the same month a year ago.
Barfoots blamed uncertainty in the economy and concerns about South Canterbury Finance for the weak sales and the move to a 'buyers market'.
About a third of all property sales in New Zealand are from Auckland, with Barfoots' market share in Auckland around 43%. Barfoots was responsible for about 14% of sales nationally in July.
The REINZ is due to report national sales figures on Tuesday September 14, while Quotable Value is due to report its housing value index for August next Thursday September 9.
The figures may surprise some who have argued Auckland's housing market has been stronger than the rest of New Zealand in recent months.
Barfoots said its average sale price was NZ$510,879, which was the lowest in six months and down 4% from NZ$532,023 a year earlier. It was also down 4.4% from July.
Volumes were down from 644 in July and down from 665 in June to their lowest level for any one month since February 2010.
"Auckland continued to tick over quietly in August, but remains stalled on winter sales levels while prices came under pressure, with the average sales price for the month falling to its lowest level since January," Barfoot Managing Director Peter Thompson said.
“Sales levels have remained constant around the 650 level for three months," he said.
“In August the market turned in favour of buyers, and the major contributor to this is the lack of choice for buyers. We are selling what we list, but throughout August there was a degree of uncertainty about the economy, compounded by the challenges South Canterbury Finance was going through, and which ultimately led to it being placed in receivership," Thompson said.
“The lack of choice shows up in the number of new listings which, at 1086 in August, was the lowest in 7 months and the lowest in 18 months if you exclude December, which is always affected by the lead in to the Christmas and holiday season."
Barfoot said it had 5626 properties for sale at the beginning of September, which was the lowest number for 7 months.
“There are buyers in the market, and we are experiencing a significant increase in the number of visitors to our web site."
“Once the coming personal and GST tax changes are behind us, and as an improving economy increases confidence, we anticipate vendors will return to the market, and prices and activity will show a modest lift as we move into summer.”
Meanwhile, the average weekly rent reported by Barfoot was NZ$406, down NZ$2 a week on the average for July but up NZ$28 on August a year ago.
There were 728 properties rented out in August, up 1.8 percent from August a year ago, but down 6.1% from July. It said July was traditionally one of the two ‘high’ months of the year, the other being January.