Advisers report that first home buyers are experiencing delays of several weeks as they try to obtain their valuation. Clients are missing out on auctions as a result.
First time buyers without a 20% deposit require a registered valuation from a bank-approved valuer before they can get a loan approved.
However, the delays have caused chaos for clients, and some valuers have begun to charge up to $2,000 for quick turnarounds, which are not guaranteed to arrive on time.
Companies including QV, Valocity and CoreLogic provide valuations for the banks.
CoreLogic said valuers were under pressure.
Simone Moors, NZ country manager for the company, said "prolonged elevated housing market activity" had caused the longer than usual turnarounds, with valuation volumes up 75% in the year to February.
Moors said there were "simply not enough registered valuers available to service this unprecedented demand".
With advisers calling for a solution, Moors said lenders needed to embrace technology-led valuations to speed up the process and clear the backlog.
Moors added automated "desktop" valuations were the way forward.
Desktop valuations use property data, such as recent sales figures, to provide an instant valuation. They are used by many Australian lenders for low-risk deals, but are occasionally used for deals above 80% LVR.
Moors said: "While volumes may quieten down as the recent RBNZ and Government changes, particularly in the investor space, flow through to the market, now may be the time for the NZ market to consider more modern, technology-led valuation offerings universally adopted in other similar markets such as Australia.
"Currently in Australia, a substantial percentage of all CoreLogic valuations are executed via desktops. CoreLogic Desktops connect bankers and brokers with qualified local valuers to complete Desktop Assessments, which enhance the customer experience through industry-best turnaround times, minimal disruption and strong operational risk controls."