House prices: Five regions hit all-time record highs

There is a "serious" shortage of houses on the market, driving prices in five regions to all-time highs, according to

Last month there were 22.3 percent fewer total homes available for sale, compared to February 2019.

Spokesperson Vanessa Taylor says lifestyles have changed since our grandparents' time.

"We want shorter commutes and more affordable homes - townhouses and apartments allow Kiwis to have that luxury."

The good news for buyers is the national average asking price has slid back from December's record high, and is now sitting at $702,510. That's still 4 percent higher than a year ago however, driven by huge increases in Wairarapa - up 26.6 percent, Hawke's Bay (14.5 percent) and Manawatu/Whanganui (18.1 percent). 

All-time highs were also recorded in Northland (up 7.3 percent to $661,917) and Canterbury (up 4.1 percent to $520,789.

Taylor says people from places like Wellington and Auckland are driving up the prices in the regions.

"When you have a bigger asset in one of those bigger cities that are commanding higher average asking prices and you take it out to the regions, you do start to see that asking price start to edge up."

February house prices.
February house prices. Photo credit:

In Wairarapa it's mostly Wellingtonians, but there's also interest from Aucklanders and people in Hawke's Bay.

"Perhaps Hawke's Bay wine lovers are looking to put down roots in the relatively young, boutique wine region in 2020," said Taylor.

The highest asking prices in the country are still in the Central Otago/Lakes region, but down 3.7 percent since January to $975,288.

Auckland's in second, creeping up 0.6 percent to $958,514, followed by Coromandel, Nelson & Bays and Coromandel, all in the $700,000s. 

The cheapest asking prices are on the South Island's West Coast, down a massive 7.5 percent to $268,021. 

Minor falls were also recorded in Coromandel, Waikato, the Central North Island, Taranaki, Otago, Southland, Wellington, Marlborough, the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne.