The outlook for first-home buyers remains gloomy, particularly in Auckland.
Realestate.co.nz says new figures show fewer homes listed in December last year than it expected.
The website's marketing manager, Paul McKenzie, says December is a traditionally quiet month but even so, the number of new listings nationally was 3% down on December 2011.
Mr McKenzie says Auckland listings fell by 43% and the average asking price of more than $600,000 makes getting into the market very hard for first-home buyers.
There was a slight easing in asking prices, but Mr McKenzie expects that by peak selling times in February and March they will have risen again.