Auckland saw the largest number of house sales in the February month for five years but listings remain low and price rises modest, according to Barfoot & Thompson.
"It was an active month for sales, with 764 homes being sold, but this demand did not translate into major price increases," said managing director Peter Thompson.
"At $536,069 the average price for the month was up 1.2% on that for January, and up 2.7% for that in February last year. Prices are edging up, but only at a modest rate."
Thompson said the most noticeable change occurred in the $1 million-plus segment of the market, with Barfoot & Thompson selling 41 homes in excess of $1 million compared to 29 in February 2011.
"And this followed on the sale in January of 40 $1million homes, nearly double the number for the previous January. You have to go back to the peak selling year of 2007 to find more $1 million homes sold in the first two months of the year."
Thompson said the number of homes sold in February was up 11.9% on January and just under 24% higher than February 2011.
The number of new listings in February hit 1,552, and while up 50.5% on January Thompson said the number was in line with February 2011.
"At the end of February we had 4,917 properties on our books, the lowest number of listings we have had at this time of the year for five years," he said.
"Lack of listings is still holding the market back from being more active."