Auckland's average house price rose to a record in December as property values benefited from a lack of supply heading into the peak summer season.
The average sale price rose to $700,387 in December, from $684,646 in November and $624,015 in December 2012, according to realtor Barfoot & Thompson. The median price rose 1.2 percent from November to $629,000 and was 14 percent ahead of the year earlier month.
New Zealand's Reserve Bank introduced restrictions on high debt mortgage lending from October last year in an attempt to cool rising house prices, driven by shortages in Auckland and Christchurch, on concern a house price bubble could cause financial instability.
"Seasonal trends which traditionally see higher value properties traded have not been offset by recent Reserve Bank changes and nor would they given the next three to four months of high summer season,'' Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said in a statement.
"With listings being so restricted and buyer demand so high, it suggests that as we enter the New Year, the Auckland real estate market will experience a strong first quarter.''
The company had just 2,969 listings on its books at the end of December, close to the firm's record low of 2,837 listings at the end of July.
Barfoot & Thompson sold 817 houses in December, down from 1,118 in November and 920 in December 2012. Still, it is the second highest sales amount for a December month in the past 10 years, the company said.
The real estate agency added 631 new listings to its books in December, down from the 1,665 new listings added in November and 697 additional listings in December 2012.
At the end of the month, the firm had 18 percent fewer listings on its books than at the end of November, and 13 percent fewer than December 2012.
Barfoot & Thompson's average monthly residential sale price for 2013:
January - $600,754
February - $604,164
March - $645,928
April - $643,089
May - $644,737
June - $649,945
July - $654,379
August - $647,647
September - $657,912
October - $663,123
November - $684,646
December - $700,387