Average Auckland house now $750,000

Three-quarters of a million dollars is now the record average asking price for an Auckland home, with the Central Otago Lakes district running second highest in the country at $700,000.

While the huge demand in Auckland and a lack of listings continues to skew national statistics, for the Reserve Bank the spectre of housing price inflation looms ever larger.

Seller expectations across New Zealand drove the national average asking price for January to a new high of $498,471, a slight increase on the previous record set in November, according to monthly data from Realestate.co.nz.

Otago pricing expectations were down 3.1% to $289,841; Southland gained 1.8% to $266,398 and Canterbury declined 0.9% to $446,919 - with Auckland up 2.6% to $750,023.

ASB senior economist, Chris Tennent Brown, said the Auckland housing market tightening in recent months meant house price inflation pressures would intensify.

''The Reserve Bank will be looking for an increase in Auckland housing construction over the coming year to alleviate the imbalance and pressure on house prices,'' Mr Tennent Brown said.

He said during 2015 the Reserve Bank might consider adding to the high loan to value (LVR) ratio banking restriction already in place, while other possibilities included a more targeted approach to investors, or debt to income measures.

''Net migration inflows into Auckland have been outpacing Auckland housing construction. The situation of undersupply in Auckland is unlikely to alter in the short term,'' he said.

Realestate.co chief executive, Brendon Skipper, said despite the increase in new listings nationally, up 2.9% to 9536, compared with January last year, overall inventory of all available housing stock for sale in New Zealand fell in January, to its lowest level since April 2007.

''Coupled with the fall in inventory, the current property market is one of the most favourable for sellers for some time,'' Mr Skipper said in a statement.

January asking prices in Wellington and Canterbury were respectively $463,214 and $446,919 respectively, slightly below records set in 2014. Canterbury posted the biggest increase year on year in new listings, up 19% to 1288.


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