PHOTO: 123RF – Inventory levels are down but one economist says that’s unlikely to be because there’s been a rush on house sales.

A drop in the number of houses available for sale is more likely a result of people pulling their properties off the market than a surge of sales, an analyst says.

Property listings website has released its latest data, for February.

It shows the number of houses for sale fell over the past month – down by 4.5 per cent in Auckland and 5 per cent in Wellington.

Total inventory numbers fell in 13 of the 19 regions covers. Although numbers are still up on the same time last year, due to a slower market, the rate of growth is slowing.