Northland home values and average asking prices are on the rise with March good for sales, according to an industry leader.
QV's March residential price movement index showed average home values increased across the region year-on-year. In Whangarei, house values increased by 2.4 per cent to $347,095; in Kaipara, they increased 5.2 per cent to $345,828; and in the Far North, they increased 0.2 per cent to $302,825.
Average asking prices have also increased in Northland, according to online listings site realestate.co.nz.
The average asking price for a Northland home on the site in March was $430,507.
Harcourts Whangarei owner Mike Beazley said March had been good for sales.
"It was the strongest March we've had in a few years. There's been a lot of demand, which of course puts pressure on supply and causes the prices to increase slightly.
"A lot of properties are getting multiple offers which is a very positive sign."
Auckland buyers were continuing to drive sales, he said.
"People are coming to Northland to invest and to live."
Mr Beazley had not yet noticed the effects of April 1 changes to KiwiSaver lending, which were aimed at giving first-home owners more flexibility.
"Northland is an attractive place for first-home buyers but we haven't had a big increase in enquiries from them just yet."
Nationally, residential property values increased 2.8 per cent over the past three months and 7.7 per cent year-on-year.
This put values 21.3 per cent above 2007. According to realestate.co.nz, the average asking price of a home in March reached a new high of $514,712. It was the third consecutive month of record asking prices.
The number of new listings in March was the lowest for March since 2009, however.
QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said it would be interesting to see whether changes to lending for first-home buyers affected values.
"The Government's new Homestart policy may lead to increased activity among first-home buyers around the country and it will remain to be seen whether this has an impact on values," she said.
"The Reserve Bank is considering tighter rules on borrowing to property investors which it has said may now be defined as those who own more than one property and thus could cover any property the owner does not live in. Currently nearly 40 per cent of all residential house sales in New Zealand are purchased by those who own two or more properties and the Reserve Bank's changes could come into effect as early as July 1 this year."