Keeping track of sales activity can be very valuable when buying residential investment property.

For instance, when sales are particularly high, it generally means the prices of homes are also high. Conversely, when sales are lower, prices tend to be more affordable. An added bonus is that more subdued sales activity means not having to compete so vigorously with other home buyers.

With that in mind, now might be a great time for potential investors in Auckland, Hamilton and other areas to consider entering the investment property market.

Data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 5,670 dwelling sales during April, down 20.2 per cent from the previous year and 22.5 per cent from the previous month.

Meanwhile, while the national median dwelling price – $432,250 – was up from April last year, it had decreased $7,750 from March.

"The sharp fall in sales volumes in April has impacted all regions, as well as Auckland and Christchurch, where much of the price pressure has been in recent times," said REINZ Chief Executive Helen O'Sullivan in a May 12 media release.

"The fall in April compared to March 2014 and April 2013 deepens the underlying trend for easing sales volumes. April is generally a softer month for real estate sales coming off the back of a generally strong March and with the added complications of school holidays and Easter."

There's no telling if this is a fluke or a long-term trend. Smart property investment is all about playing the long game and planning for changes in price and sales cycles, but there's no doubt buyers looking to save some cash when buying investment property in Auckland and other regions might be able to find a more affordable deal at the moment.

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