As New Zealand homeownership rates fall to the lowest level since 1951, November this year saw the most houses sold since March 2007.
Auckland's median house price jumped $145,000 annually and national prices rose $117,000 or 18.5 per cent in the last year.
November data from Real Estate Institute also showed a 13-year record number of sales for last month and the national median price jumping $117,000 in the last year, from $632,000 to $749,000.
Auckland house prices jumped $145,000 from $885,000 last November to $1,030,000 which REINZ said was a new record high.
"Median house prices across New Zealand increased by 18.5 per cent from $632,000 in November 2019 to a new record median high of $749,000 in November 2020," REINZ said today.
Statistics New Zealand this week released a grim new report, Housing in Aotearoa: 2020, drawing on information from the 2018 Census and other surveys, providing a detailed analysis of changing ownership and tenure trends, and the state of New Zealand's housing stock.
Half the homes sold in November by Auckland's biggest agency Barfoot & Thompson went for more than $1 million.
Bindi Norwell, REINZ chief executive, fretted about the situation.
"Since October 2011, we've seen successive annual increases in median house prices - 110 months in a row - and the last five months have been double-digit increases. This just isn't sustainable and with data out earlier this week showing that home ownership is at its lowest level in 70 years, the gap between those that own and those that rent is just going to keep growing unless we can do something to start addressing the supply issue the country has," she said.
Owen Vaughan, editor of NZME-owned property listing site OneRoof, said: "The speed at which the market has moved in the last quarter is simply astonishing.
"Campaigns have become shorter and the number of pre-auctions offers has increased. Suburb sale price records that would have, just a year ago, sat unchallenged for months on end are tumbling within the space of a week. Low interest rates and FOMO factor is putting real pressure on prices," Vaughan said.
Norwell expects the Government to announce plans to reform the Resource Management Act to help get more homes built.
"Unless we can build at scale and in an affordable manner, unaffordability is going to be something that remains a significant issue for Kiwis looking to get into the property market," said.
"November was an incredible month in terms of the number of properties sold, with just shy of 10,000 properties sold over 30 days. The last time we saw a similar level of sales volumes was back in March 2007 – 164 months ago – before the national recession and Global Financial Crisis started impacting New Zealand's property market," she said.
November saw 10 out of 16 of the regions with double-digit percentage increases in annual sales volumes.
People wanted to buy before Christmas but Norwell said the record month was also partly due to the Reserve Bank saying in early November that it would undertake consultation in December to re-introduce LVRs earlier than planned.
The total number of properties available for sale nationally decreased by 16.9 per cent in November to 18,319 down from 22,049 properties last November.
The Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu/Wanganui, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Waikato and West Coast had their lowest inventory levels since REINZ records started around the early 1960s.
The median number of days to sell nationally fell from 33 to 29 days, the lowest in 164 months since March 2007.
Eleven regions had a median number of days to sell of less than 30 days.
The REINZ House Price Index for New Zealand, measuring the changing value of property in the market, increased 15.3 per cent year-on-year to 3343 a new high on the index and the first time the index for the country has gone over the 3300 level.
Excluding Auckland, the index showed house price values increased 14.5 per cent from November 2019 to 3303 a new high in November 2020, REINZ said.