Real estate agency Barfoot and Thompson is reporting a record month for the Auckland housing market, with 1597 homes changing hands in March.
Barfoots handles the most sales in Auckland, and said today that its March figures "set a string of new records".
"March is always the most active month for property sales, but there has never been a month's trading to compare with the past month," said company managing director Peter Thompson.
"The average sales price increased by 3.9 percent on that for February, pushing the average sales price to an all-time high of $776,729. It is more than $17,000 higher than the previous record average price set in December last year," he said. "The median price at $711,000 increased by 1.1 percent over that for February, and is 9 percent higher than the median in March 2014."
ASB senior economist Chris Tennent-Brown said a combination of low mortgage lending rates, strong population growth and high consumer confidence were contributing to demand.
"This pick-up in listings is encouraging, but it is not enough to bring the market back into balance.
"The level of total listings remains very low, and is down 6.2 per cent on year-ago levels. And the ratio of total listings to sales also remains indicative of a very tight market.
"Overall, the Auckland housing market remains very supply constrained and we expect continued upward pressure on Auckland house prices."
One quarter of Auckland homes sold by Barfoots in March went for more than $1 million and the 1597 homes sold was the highest number ever for a calendar month.
"Buyers were not put off by the record prices, and for the last two weeks of the month we sold more than 400 homes each week, the highest two weeks trading in the company's history," said Thompson.
He said April sales activity was unlikely to match that for March, but "given the relatively good level of choice available trading can be expected to remain extremely active."
Westpac Bank chief economist Dominick Stephens said today's data "confirms that the Auckland housing market is very strong, although not quite as rampant as it appeared last year."
Stephens said he remained comfortable with the bank's forecast of 7.5 per cent house price inflation across New Zealand for the year. " We would also expect Auckland to outperform that average figure".