Auckland house prices edged lower in January from record levels the previous month as sales volumes steadied during the summer holiday period, according to the city's largest real estate agency.

The average sale price slipped 0.2 per cent to $757,319 in January from December, although it was 17 per cent ahead of January last year, Auckland real estate agency Barfoot & Thompson said.

The median price declined 2.8 per cent to $700,000 from December’s record, to be 21 per cent above January last year, it said.

The housing market in New Zealand’s largest city remains firm amid record migration and a shortage of supply.

While sales volumes slipped 18 per cent from December to 859, the number of properties changing hands was in line with January months for the past two years, the agency said.

“A drop off in the average price between December and January is normal as the market gradually builds new momentum after the holiday break, but this year properties held on to their high December values,” said Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson.

“Based on January’s combination of solid sales numbers with continuing high prices, it suggests market values are likely to continue to hold firm or edge up modestly during the first half of this year.”

In January, 21 per cent of homes sold for $1 million or more, up from 17 per cent in December and 11 per cent in January last year.

The agency had 2,899 properties on its books at the end of January, a 16 per cent increase from the month earlier, but 14 per cent lower than January 2014.

New listings jumped 86 per cent from December to 1,199 but were 2.5 per cent lower than the same period a year earlier, the agency said.


By Tina Morrison