Auckland, Dunedin, Otago and the Central Otago Lakes regions all enjoyed house price gains of about 10% during the past year, but there any close comparisons ends.

Despite the percentage gains, the actual house values are still at opposite ends of the scale. Auckland and Queenstown eclipse all other regions around $700,000 and near $800,000 respectively, while Otago and Dunedin sit around $280,000 and $300,000, according to Real Estate Institute of New Zealand January data released yesterday.

While 5048 dwellings sold in New Zealand in January, up 4.3% on January the previous year, the cooling effect in the market is seen in a 31% fall in sales compared with December.

The data revealed yet another rise in the number of sales over $1million, up 18% from January 2015 to January 2016, from 360 a year ago to 423.

While year on year Auckland appears to remain a hot market, when comparing its December prices to January, the entire region is down 6.5% and all its sub-regional areas show price falls.

Westpac's chief economist Dominick Stephens said weakness in the sector was most evident in Auckland, where sales numbers and prices fell to July 2015 levels.

"This data is a continuation of the weak trend for the Auckland housing market.

"Stronger data in December had raised the possibility that the market was stabilising, but that no longer looks to be the case,'' he said.

He noted sales and prices also fell across most of the remainder of the North Island.

REINZ chief executive Colleen Milne said on a December-to-January comparison, all regions across the country declined in sales volumes.

Otago was down 31%, from 304 homes in December to 209 in January.

The Waikato-Bay of Plenty area recorded the largest percentage increase in median price compared to January 2015, at 12.9%, followed by Otago at 12% and Hawkes Bay at 11.8%.

Mrs Milne said the Otago market "continued to be strong''.

Both first-home buyers and investors were "active'', but a shortage of new listings across the province was limiting buyer choice and sales.

Otago volumes from December to January fell 31%, from 304 houses to 209, but on a year ago were up 7.7% from 194 sales.

ASB economist Kim Mundy said the January housing data revealed a slowdown in the housing market, through falling turnover, seasonally adjusted, from December.

"However, this month it was not only Auckland driving the fall in activity,'' Mr Mundy said.

While activity in Auckland fell 10.5% in January, turnover fell nearly 30% month-on-month in Wellington.

"All regions apart from Nelson-Marlborough recorded a fall in seasonally-adjusted turnover in January,'' he said.

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