New Zealand property sales have slowed and the median price is down 5.8 per cent from a record high in December, the Real Estate Institute says.
The falls may reflect low-equity mortgage restrictions and seasonal factors, it says. There were 4,719 homes sold nationally in January, down from the same month last year and a 17 per cent drop compared with December.
The national median price fell to $NZ402,000 ($A377,589), having reached a record $NZ427,000 in December.
"The softer volume result continues a pattern that began in November and continued in December," said REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan.
"Market feedback suggests that first home buyers may be tentatively returning, with some assistance, to certain markets."
Days to sell rose by 11 to 43 in January from December and increased by two days from January 2013.
The total value of residential sales, including sections, fell to $NZ2.33 billion in January from $NZ3.07b in December, and was up from $NZ2.24b in the same month last year.