New Zealand's property market hit an all-time high in November with nearly every region seeing record average asking prices, according to new Trade Me data.
Earlier this year, as Kiwis sheltered at home under lockdown, economists and commentators predicted house prices would plummet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But with record low-interest rates, a lack of supply, an influx of Kiwis returning home and the removal of loan-to-value ratios (LVRs), the exact opposite has happened.
Trade Me's latest Property Price Index released on Thursday shows the national average asking price rose 12.5 percent year-on-year in November to reach $762,700.
"Earlier in the year, it was anyone's guess where the market was heading, but November proved itself to be yet another month of house price inflation," Trade Me Property spokesperson Logan Mudge said.
"Typically summer is when we see the market really take off and we're not seeing signs this year will be any different."
Auckland continues its hike north, up 10 percent on last year with an average price of $1,022,300, while Wellington hit a new record for the third month in a row with $761,300.
But it's not just the main centres driving the increases. Trade Me's data shows that 12 of 15 regions hit new highs in November while every region saw year-on-year price growth.
Manawatu/Whanganui was the standout, with annual growth of 20 percent. Southland jumped 15 percent, while Taranaki soared 14 percent.
"Similar to what we have seen in previous months, buyer demand was sky-high in November and the number of properties for sale didn't keep up," Mudge said on Thursday.
"When compared with November 2019, national demand was up by 21 percent, while supply was down by 5 percent."
Auckland, however, bucked the trend with properties listed increasing 10 percent when compared to last year. Yet the region also saw a jump in demand of 25 percent.
The number of properties for sale in Wellington decreased 10 percent year-on-year, while demand grew 20 percent. The biggest jump in demand was seen in Taranaki with 29 percent growth.
Housing has become a hot political topic in the latter half of this year as the Labour Government comes under pressure to get the rising prices under control. The Government's final financial update of the year on Wednesday showed Treasury predicts house prices to increase 8.5 percent in 2021.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson is promising announcements will be made early next year in regard to housing.