What the property market holds in store for 2019

Auckland home buyers need to get in quick - city house prices could leap to record highs by this time next year, one property pundit predicts.

Infometrics economist Paul Barkle says that while Auckland house prices have stagnated for close to two years they are set for an almost 10 per cent jump next year followed by sustained increases through to mid-2022.

Behind the forecast price rise is an acute shortage of houses. By Barkle's estimate the city needs at least 45,000 more homes.

But the news is not so rosy for homeowners outside the Super City, with national prices poised to ease next year from current record highs.

"By the end of next year we expect house prices in Auckland to be 9 per cent higher than in December 2018 compared to a slight decline in national prices of roughly 1 per cent over the same period," Barkle said.

Should Barkle's forecast play out, it would push Auckland property values to new highs.

Last month, the city's median price reached $867,000 - or 3.7 per cent below the record price of $900,000 set in March 2017, according to the Real Estate Institute of NZ.

National house prices, meanwhile, are already at record highs with a November median price of $575,000.

Not all pundits agree with Barkle's upbeat forecast.

Devon Funds managing director Slade Robertson said New Zealand's housing market was due for a fall, with the real question being: 'Will it be a crash or a correction?'