New property listings in February were up 58% from January and the national average asking price hit $426,575 - a 3% rise on the same time last year, according to Realestate.co.nz.
"This is the highest asking price ever recorded in the five years since Realestate.co.nz started tracking the market data," the company said.
The report revealed 13,459 new listings came onto the market in February, 58% more than January and an 18% increase on February 2011. On a seasonally adjusted basis, new listings are up 14% from January 2012.
Chief executive Alistair Helm said the rise in both new listings and asking price indicated sellers were finally responding to the ongoing high demand for property, as the market continued to lean in their favour.
"Since the demand for property has not slowed, it's almost surprising that we have not seen the increase in asking price until now," he said.
"However, with sales continuing to remain strong and inventory falling yet again in February to 36 weeks, sellers are clearly raising their expectations."
Helm said record asking prices had been recorded in Canterbury and Central North Island, while the rest of the country remained fairly stable, both for asking price and inventory.
"We are seeing the market find some level ground in many regions, as they edge closer to the long term average of 41 weeks of inventory. This suggested there is a better balance returning to the market in some areas. However, shortages are persisting in the major cities of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch."
Helm said these pockets of shortages would probably continue to prompt more sellers to list in the coming months, while the market remains in their favour.