The residential property market remains sluggish, with the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand showing sales in March were down 9.9% nationally compared to March last year.
In Auckland the number of properties sold was down 12% compared to a year ago and sales were also well down in the Bay of Plenty (-10%), Manawatu/Whanganui (-18%), Wellington Region (-18%), Canterbury (-8%) and Otago (-19%).
Auckland, which is the country's biggest market by far, recorded the lowest volume of sales for the month of March since 2010.
That is significant because March is usually the busiest month of the year for residential property sales and marks the end the summer selling season before the market starts to decline as it heads towards winter.
The figures suggest the market could be heading into a difficult winter selling season this year.
Volume increases were largely confined to the smaller regional markets, with increases in sales compared to last year posted in Gisborne (+9%), Taranaki (+3%), Nelson (+7%), Marlborough (+3%) and West Coast (+19%).
Prices were a bit more resilient with the national median price hitting a record high of $560,000 in March compared to $550,000 in March last year.
Record median prices were also set in Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Wellington Region.
In Auckland the median price was $880,000, back where it was in November but still below the record price of $900,000 set in March last year.
The REINZ said 16% of all sales in March were by auction, down from 19% in March last year.
In Auckland, where auctions have been particularly strong, 29% of all sales in March were by auction, compared to 35% in March last year.
The charts below track the monthly volume of homes sold and median prices in each region.