Evidence of housing market activity spreading beyond Auckland is becoming more apparent, according to the latest ANZ property focus report.
It said a pick-up in building consents and construction work was a sign of the surge broadening.
The report said momentum was likely to build slowly over 2013.
The number of mortgage approvals this year is 23% higher than in 2011, and the value of approvals is 35% higher.
Of the report's 10 gauges indicating the pressures on house prices, one points completely up, three are steady, five are a mix of steady or up, and two are steady or down.
Affordability is improving and is at the best level it has been in nine years because of low mortgage rates.
Household debt levels are rising but as a percentage of disposable household income, are at a 10-year low.
The number of people leaving New Zealand has slowed and construction is recovering from historic lows.
The report said housing supply was keeping pressure on prices, particularly in Auckland.
On balance, the report said the housing market was characterised by an “urban rise”. “Auckland and Canterbury are underpinning the upturn in the real estate market.”