Asking prices for houses around the country have notched up records in both Auckland and Otago last month, but are poles apart at $866,080 and $323,367 respectively.

The Auckland record average asking price was an increase of $101,656, or 13.3%, for the past 12 months, according to data from, the website of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

While Otago's average asking price was also a new high, it was up only slightly on the previous record of $321,188 set in October 2015, a rise of barely $2200. chief executive Brendon Skipper said the national average returned to near record levels in February, with three other regions in addition to Auckland also experiencing record highs - Otago, Hawkes Bay and Coromandel.

The national average asking price for February was $565,861, just below the previous record of $568,215 set in August last year.

"While these average asking prices reflect continuing vendor confidence, they do need to be seen against a background of relatively low inventory,'' Mr Skipper said, pointing to the listings drought in many areas.

He said new listings across the country last month totalled 11,989, a return to expected levels for this time of year following a supply shortage in December and January.

In Otago, new listings were up 5.2% on the same month last year.

The national inventory of available housing stock sits at 16.4 weeks (to sell all houses, if no more came on the market), easing only slightly from the record low set in January of 14.7 weeks.

The long-term national inventory average is 34 weeks.

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