House prices going up two-and-a-half times the rate of inflation

Auckland house prices have almost doubled in the last 12 years.

The latest statistics from show asking prices in the country's biggest city are back above $900,000, after the Government decided against implementing a capital gains tax.

The price had slid down into the $800,000s in the first half of the year. Despite the speed wobble, spokesperson Vanessa Taylor says the trend remains positive.

"When you look at the long-term, how much it's grown, when we first started collecting data it was just over half-a-million dollars - we've seen it double in that 12-and-a-half years we've been collecting data," she told The AM Show on Friday.

Nationwide, prices have risen just over 60 percent since 2007 - from $410,666 to $659,422. In the same time, inflation across the board has been 24 percent, according to the Reserve Bank's Consumer Price Index calculator.

Prices are also being pushed up by the low number of listings - and not just in Auckland. Record lows have been recorded in Northland, Taranaki, West Coast and Coromandel too. Only 34 homes came onto the market in June on the West Coast, for example, down more than 30 percent on a year ago.

Nationwide, new listings in June fell from 12,345 in January 2007 to 7545 in June 2019.

"That was down 7.3 percent compared to June last year, so it's a little more than winter hibernation, some might say."

Taylor says Auckland's all-time record asking price was $980,000 in December 2017.

June saw record high average house prices for the capital, Manawatu, Canterbury and Southland regions. Wellington prices have broken $700,000 for the first time, up 3.8 percent. 

"The Southland region also recorded a modest increase, tipping over the $350,000 mark for the first time - which is significant for our most southern region."

Marlborough recorded the biggest increase, up 9.2 percent in a month to $529,617.

"The last 12 years has shown us that we continue to see the average asking price of property drive upwards at varying speeds," said Taylor.

With homes taking longer to sell thanks to the higher prices, Taylor said people should be wary of trying to ask for too much.

"People say, 'I've lost $200,000 because I could have got $200,000 more for my house two years ago.' Actually, if you've had your house for 10 years you haven't lost anything."

So if the house you're selling isn't worth what it was 18 months ago, don't worry - the next house you buy has probably declined in value a similar amount, and will be cheaper to buy than it once was.