Houses have never been more expensive in most parts of New Zealand, new figures show

Housing has never been less affordable new figures show, with 14 of the 19 regions tracked by reaching record-high average asking prices.

The average nationally in March was $834,769 - up $120,449 on the same time last year, a rise of 16.8 percent. 

But there is a silver lining on the horizon for would-be buyers - the number of homes going on the market is also on the up. 

"There has been a 12 percent increase this March, versus March the year prior," chief executive Sarah Wood told Newshub.

"The key regions are Auckland, up 24 percent in stock, central North Island up 26 percent, West Coast up 26 percent and Southland up 25 percent." 

The fourteen regions where asking prices are at all-time highs are Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Taranaki, Wellington, Nelson and Bays, Canterbury, Southland, Wairarapa, Central North Island and Manawatu/Whanganui. 

Of those, only Canterbury saw asking price growth in the single digits - up 8 percent. The rest ranged from Auckland's 13.6 percent rise (to $1.1 million) to a whopping 41.5 percent hike in Central North Island (to $736,259, driven by the sale of pricy lifestyle properties). 

"We've rarely seen this many record highs in one month," said Wood. "Only time will tell what impact the Government's recent housing announcement will have, but these figures highlight the need for measures to help cool the market."

Asking prices in March 2021.
Asking prices in March 2021. Photo credit:

Last week the Government said it would phase out speculators and investors' ability to use loan interest costs to reduce their tax liabilities, which gives them a financial advantage over owner-occupiers. Similar moves in the UK resulted in an apparent stagnation in house prices without any extra rise in rents. 

"Twelve of our 19 regions saw a lift in new listings last month compared to March 2020," said Wood. 

"Although we still have a stock shortage around the country, it was encouraging to see pockets of increased vendor activity during March." 

Asking prices tend to be higher than sale prices the same month, and they also vary between different selling platforms. For example, Trade Me Property's figures out on Wednesday found a similar increase in asking prices - a slightly lower 15.7 percent - but an average of $784,450, $50,000 lower than's figures. 

Trade Me figures also found a drop in supply, contrary to

Asking prices in March 2021

  • Northland - $739,168, up 15.2 percent (new record)
  • Auckland - $1,100,593, up 13.6 percent (new record)
  • Wellington - $845,641, up 1.8 percent (new record)
  • Waikato - $749,105, up 19.0 percent (new record)
  • Bay of Plenty - $865,129, up 21.3 percent (new record)
  • Gisborne - $629,080, up 32.2 percent (new record)
  • Hawke's Bay - $738,828, up 23.7 percent (new record)
  • Taranaki - $535,344, up 16.9 percent (new record)
  • Nelson and Bays - $793,703, up 16.6 percent (new record)
  • Canterbury - $567,431, up 8.0 percent (new record)
  • Southland - $450,519, up 18.1 percent (new record)
  • Wairarapa - $696,485, up 29.3 percent (new record)
  • Central North Island - $736,259, up 41.5 percent (new record)
  • Manawatu/Whanganui - $565,309, up 24.4 percent (new record)
  • Central Otago/Lakes - $1.11 million, up 0.5 percent 
  • Coromandel - $951,784, up 4.7 percent
  • Marlborough - $740,938, up 13.7 percent
  • Otago - $550,0982, down 2.6 percent
  • West Coast - $325,341, down 4.8 percent