Auckland's top property hotspots have been revealed in new figures from the city's biggest real estate agency.

Barfoot & Thompson's list of suburbs with the greatest rise in median sale prices showed Glen Innes, Mt Albert and Orewa were the big winners.

For Glen Innes - a formerly heavily state-housing enclave better known as " GI"by those who call it home - the increase was startling.

The once-sprawling 19th century farm-turned slice of suburbia jumped from 13th in the first half of 2017 to first after recording a 19.2 per cent value growth. The median sale price rose from $999,500 to $1.191m.

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The median sale price is the middle price among sales in each suburb.

Incoming branch manager for Barfoot & Thompson's new Glen Innes office, Wayne Parfitt, said the suburb had recaptured buyer attention with its "perfect mix" of location, transport, community amenities and housing options.

City-fringe Mt Albert and coastal Orewa, both returning to the list for the first time since early 2016, were second and third with 19 per cent and 10.9 per cent value growth respectively.

In Mt Albert that equated to an increased median sale price from $1.025m to $1.22m. In Orewa the figures rose from $902,000 to $1m.

Glen Innes is one of three suburbs at the heart of a massive urban transformation project which, under the Tamaki Redevelopment Company, will see a mix of 7500 new social, affordable and private market houses - and supporting infrastructure - built over 15 years.

Ownership of 2800 state houses in the trio of suburbs was transferred to the company, a joint Government and Auckland Council owned entity, from Housing NZ in 2016.

The move sparked protests over plans to demolish state houses to make way for the new homes.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Bindi Norwell wasn't surprised by the suburb's rise.

"Glen Innes is relatively close to the CBD, has good transport links, a number of brand new terraced houses to choose from and is surrounded by some of the eastern suburb's more expensive suburbs."

Mad Ave Community Trust managing director Tamati Patuwai, whose trust champions community cohesion and well-being through innovative programmes, was shocked by the speed of the suburb's rise.

His family has lived in Glen Innes for five generations and "all within the state housing kind of culture".

His parents had worked "two or three jobs each" to buy their state house through a Government programme in the 1980s, but he'd watched the neighbourhood - which he considered part of his family - change as urban transformation unfolded.

"In the last four years everyone's gone ... it's been really traumatic."

He was concerned the affordable homes promised were "not affordable many".

However, both because he wanted to still be part of the changing community and for the sake of his children, he wanted to "get into the space" of celebrating and contributing to "new thinking" about the suburb.

"I wasn't raised with that asset focus, the focus was family. [But] many people that I grew up with are at the low end of the whole [property] ladder. I don't want that anymore."

The realtor's list featured newcomers, including Pukekohe, Ranui, Mt Roskill, Hobsonville and Takanini, each with value growth between 4.5 per cent and 10.8 per cent.

The list was compiled from sales' records comparing July to December 2017 to the same period the previous year. Only suburbs with the highest percentage growth in median price, and 20 or more sales for both periods, were included.

Rural sales, sections, sales of $5m and above were excluded.

Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said the list included suburbs they hadn't seen in the running since 2016, and others "completely new" to the top 20.

"Unlike previous lists, this one is not headed by high-end suburbs, but includes a number of up-and-coming neighbourhoods, many in the midst of major growth and regeneration.

"Many of these suburbs, particularly Glen Innes, Orewa, Pukekohe and Hobsonville, are seeing significant investment in new housing and community infrastructure."

Affordability also likely played a part in the rise of some suburbs — eight recorded median values under the overall 2017 median of $843,583, and just over half had a median under $1m.

Changes in market activity over the last six to nine months meant the value growth across its latest survey was more measured compared to previous lists, but was still strong.

Some previously high-performing suburbs, such as Ponsonby, Mission Bay and Kohimarama, failed to reach the sales number criteria, despite sustained value growth.

"Vendors are clearly holding on to their prized properties."

Norwell said the figures echoed what the institute were seeing - some "value for money" suburbs exhibiting much higher median price increases than Auckland for the same period.