PHOTO: ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF –Agents like auctions because they were efficient but they relied on urgency, which was lacking at the moment.

Sellers are being warned to be cautious about taking a house to auction in a slower property market.

Auctions were a popular method of sale when house prices were booming in Auckland.

In November last year, the Real Estate Institute reported that the number of sales by auction in Auckland was down 34 per cent on the same time a year earlier.

​Nationwide, 14 per cent of houses sold at auction in December, down from 18 per cent the year before. More than half of all houses sold by auction in New Zealand are in Auckland.