The housing market was especially buoyant in December with 7,064 home sales going unconditional and prices setting a new record in Auckland, according to the Real Estate Institute of NZ.
Normally housing sales fall away dramatically in December as the market winds down for the summer break, but last month's sales were only 4.7% lower than they were in November and up 24.2% on the number of sales achieved in December 2013.
The Auckland median price hit $678,000 in December 2014, a rise of $78,000, or 13%, year-on-year.
"The data for December shows very strong sales growth compared to 12 months ago and a much higher level of sales than we would normally expect for the final month of the year," outgoing REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said.
"The effect has been seen right across the country, with a number of regions seeing further increases in sales in December after a strong November.
"The normal December slow down hasn't really happened in 2014."
However a two tiered pricing market appears to be developing between Auckland and the rest of the country, with the median price in Auckland setting a new record but the national median dropping by $5,750 to $450,000 in December .
"Apart from Auckland, median prices across the country have moderated somewhat," O'Sullivan said.
"Even Canterbury, which has seen strong price growth during 2014 has seen its rate of price increase pull back to under 2% for the 12 months to December 2014."
The REINZ said Auckland accounted for 98% of the total increase in national median prices last year, with the rest of the country accounting for just 2%.
Within the Auckland region the biggest gains in median price occurred within the boundaries of the former Auckland City Council, where the median price of $810,000 in December was up 20% on a year earlier, followed by Manukau where the median of $645,000 was up 15.8% compared to December 2013.
Median price increases throughout the region were in double digits apart from Rodney on the region's northern fringe, where they rose by 9.2%.
In the Wellington region, December's median of $415,000 was up 3.8% compared with a year earlier but down by 2.4%% compared with November.
The biggest increase in the region was in the northern suburbs of Wellington City where the median price of $512,000 was up 13.8% on December 2013.
The only part of Wellington to record a slide in median price for the year was Lower Hutt where the median of $371,500 was down 5.7% on a year earlier.
In Christchurch the December median of $420,000 was down 6% compared with November's median of $446,750 to finish the year exactly back where it was in December 2013.
To see the the median prices and REINZ's analysis for all regions, click on this link.