Not a single region in the country experienced an increase in the number of properties sold for the year ended in August – a phenomenon that has only happened three times in the last seven years, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

Nationally, the number of properties sold fell by 20% in August, down 1,472 properties from a year ago. Southland, Northland, Taranaki, Waikato and Auckland regions recorded biggest fall in volumes, down by 37.3%, 29.4%, 25.9%, 25% and 21.5% respectively.

“Again, we’ve seen the number of properties sold across the country drop significantly,” REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said. “The drop in volume this month meant that, on average, 47 fewer properties were sold each day in August 2017 in comparison to August 2016 – that’s a big drop. Banks’ lending criteria and LVRs are still impacting first home buyers and investors.”

“If you looked at the number of properties sold, without looking at the bigger picture, one might assume that the market was showing significant signs of slowing. However, as prices are holding up, and even increasing, then it suggests that people may be holding off from selling their property unless it’s absolutely necessary,” Norwell said.

REINZ data showed residential property prices across New Zealand increased by 8.2% year-on-year to $530,000.

Nationally, excluding Auckland, median prices were up 10.9% year-on-year. Auckland’s median price increased by 1.2% or by $10,000 from July, but dropped 1.2% year-on-year.

Record median prices registered in Southland, Nelson, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu/Wanganui and Marlborough were up 22%, 12.6% 19.1%, 18.8% and 16.7% respectively, contributing to the overall increase.

Year-on-year, four regions experienced a decrease in median price in August – Auckland, Gisborne, Tasman and the West Coast.