New Zealand's housing market hottest it's been in almost two decades

The housing market has delivered a scorching January amid what economists say is the biggest housing boom in 17 years.

Last month's data has revealed a myriad of record median house prices across the country and not even the usual summer sales slump could help out desperate Kiwis on their first home hunt. 

While New Zealanders were on holiday sunning themselves the housing market was hard at work. 

It turns out, the January slump of yesteryear - is exactly that.  Bindi Norwell, the chief executive of Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), says while January is usually quiet, 2021 was anything but. 

"We've had the busiest January in five years."

Auckland did join us all for a quick dip in the ocean - the market cooling off, but only slightly.  The median house price dropped $25,000 to a not so modest $1 million in January.  But it's still up 15 percent - year on year. 

In 12 months the country's median house price has jumped 19 percent to $730,000, with four regions cracking new records - The Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki and Nelson.

But year on year - it was Wellington with the biggest boom - up a whopping 27.7 percent.

Wellingtonian Eleanor West has all but given up on ever owning her own home.

"It's pretty grim to be honest," she told Newshub.

"It's really hard to imagine where you'll be in 10, 20, or 30 years when you don't even have that feeling that homeownership is an opportunity for you."

New Zealand hasn't had a housing boom like this in 17 years  - but back then, we weren't in the midst of a global pandemic.

ASB economist Mike Jones says 2004 was a "boom year".

"We had GDP growth in that year of a bit over 6 percent."

But if you think another lockdown is going to make any difference to the February numbers -   Jones says think again.

"We don't think it'll be particularly impactful."

The scorching hot housing market is set to last well beyond our beach days.