The Real Estate Institute says positive migration figures are likely to keep pressure on house prices, with greater demand coming up against a shortfall of new homes being built.
Figures released by Statistics New Zealand put net permanent and long-term migration for the November year at 20,000 people, the highest figure since July 2004. It results mainly from people staying in New Zealand rather than moving to Australia or Britain.
Institute president Peter McDonald says the net gain is helping to lift demand in the housing market, but about 16,000 fewer homes than needed are being built each year.
He says the rising demand is reflected in the high number of auctions in Auckland last month.