Homeowners wanting to sell are being advised they need to settle for lower prices if the property market is to recover.
Real Estate Institute figures show monthly house sales for January dropped to the lowest ever since records began in 1992.
Massey University banking studies director David Tripe says there appears to be stand-off between buyers and sellers.
He says sellers have to settle for lower prices to kickstart the market.
But Auckland University Professor of Property Laurence Murphy says now is not the time to sell.
He says the market will pick up if the financial climate dramatically changes either way.