'Gripped by FOMO': Frustration continues for buyers as property market stays strong

Buyers continue to fear they'll miss out on a property as market conditions remained "very strong" in October, a real estate survey shows.

The early November survey, carried out by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) and economist Tony Alexander, shows 88 percent of buyers had fear of missing out (FOMO) - up from 81 percent in early October.

More than half (59 percent) of the 381 real estate agents surveyed said they were seeing more people at open homes, while 47 percent said they were seeing more at auctions.

"Unsurprisingly, with buyer interest so strong, a net 97 percent of agents report that in their area, prices are rising while a net 88 percent say buyers are gripped by FOMO," Alexander said in a statement.

It comes after Realestate.co.nz's October report showed property prices had inflated again with the average asking price throughout New Zealand at a 13-year high.

"The key change over the past month has been a rise in the proportion of agents reporting that they are seeing more investors, to a net 59 percent from 38 percent in our October survey," Alexander said.

As a glimmer of hope for buyers, 32 percent of agents were doing more property appraisals, Alexander said. But that's down from October - when 36 percent reported doing more appraisals.

In Auckland, average asking prices are now above $1 million. Barfoot and Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said that's a significant milestone.

"While there is [a] strong interest in property from first-time buyers and investors, the vast majority of homes continue to be bought by existing property owners who are moving forward with their lifestyle decisions in terms of their housing ambitions."

October property sales were the strongest they had been in a month for more than four years, Thompson added.