Auckland house sales drop 16 percent in April

House prices are up in most parts of the country, but the volume of sales is down to the lowest level in five years for the month of April.

The Real Estate Institute's house price index, a broad measure of property values, rose 1.3 percent in the year to April.

The national median price was unchanged from March at $585,000, but up 6.4 percent on the year earlier.

However, Auckland's median price was flat, stuck around $850,000 for the past three years.

The total number of sales fell in all regions of the country, by 11.5 percent on the year earlier.

The number of sales in Auckland slumped, with a 16.3 percent drop to the lowest level for an April month in 11 years.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said some regions continued to see record price growth, but there had been declines in markets that had previously been strong, such as Nelson and Otago.

"Given the strength of these markets over the last few months, these were relatively small declines in the bigger scheme of things, perhaps suggesting that these are just the early signs of the usual winter slow down," she said.

"It will be interesting to see if last week's official cash rate cut as well as certainty on capital gains tax will impact the market in the coming months," said Norwell.

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