Anyone who believes the Auckland housing market is anywhere near a cooling-off period is not watching closely enough. In the three months to January house values went up by 5.1 per cent across the city.
To put that figure into context, the country's annual inflation figure is 0.8 per cent, which might go some way to explaining why household debt is at 165 per cent of income (we are collectively borrowing more than we earn).
Across the country, property is rising at a much lower rate, between 1 and 5 per cent annually, although homes in Christchurch went up 1.7 per cent in the three months to January.
Jonno Ingerson, director of research at CoreLogic, says: "There are unique things about Auckland that set it apart from the rest of the country. Strong net migration, [high] consumer confidence and low interest rates are fuelling demand, while a shortage of housing stock and a relatively low percentage of properties for sale are holding back supply.
"High demand plus low supply equals rising prices."
In previous columns I have suggested ways in which the housing market in this powerhouse of a city could be cooled, because clearly the Reserve Bank's blunt instrument of the LVR is not working here.
Higher interest rates would cool it down. But I can't see mortgage rates going up this year as we already have a pretty high official cash rate (OCR) at 3.5 per cent when compared with many other countries.
Just take a look at some of the OCRs elsewhere: Australia, 2.25 per cent; Canada, 0.75 per cent; Czech Republic, 0.05 per cent; Sweden, minus 0.10 per cent, and Switzerland, minus 1.25 per cent. That's right, a negative percentage, meaning savers in Sweden and Switzerland pay the banks to look after their money.
Meanwhile, local banks are chipping away at their fixed interest rates to increase their market share. As I have said before, deals can be done when you visit your lender.
The bottom line is that property prices in Auckland will continue to rise. If you are looking for a property today, the simple truth is that the longer you wait, the more you will pay (and it's likely your wages will not keep pace with price rises). Don't let emotion get in the way of economic logic this weekend.
Property marketing trends
When it comes to marketing property for sale most sellers in Auckland opt for an auction. Research by CoreLogic -- based on sales during last year -- show that more than half (54 per cent) of sellers in the Supercity auction their properties rather than publish an asking price (21 per cent), selling by negotiation (20 per cent), asking for inquiries (3 per cent), or using a tender (2 per cent).
Looking at New Zealand as a whole, asking-price rises to 36 per cent, auctions slip to 27 per cent and 21 per cent of people sell by negotiating a price. Inquiries are 12 per cent and tenders 4 per cent.