House prices are edging higher in Northland as Aucklanders continuing to look for a better deal crowd the local market, a real estate expert says.

The latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) figures show the median house price in Northland for August was $305,750, up from $298,000 last year.

The number of sales in Northland increased by more than 15 per cent compared with August 2012, with prices in Kerikeri jumping nearly $60,000 in the past month.

More than 165 houses sold in Northland last month, compared to 144 in August last year.

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Whangarei Bayleys Real Estate manager Tony Grindle said more Auckland buyers were looking to Northland for investment properties.

"We're getting enquiries from Aucklanders who are buying their first homes, and they're buying them as investments here instead of moving into them."

Fifty-three per cent of Bayleys' buyers had come from Auckland, Mr Grindle said. But while Whangarei had plenty of buyers, there was little stock.

"The amount of sales will certainly pick up with spring but, at the moment, we're desperately short of good property for sale.

"We had an open home last week ... and three offers got presented to the owner on the very first day. That's not something Whangarei is used to."

According to REINZ figures, the national median sale price rose $5000 to $390,000 in August, up 5.5 per cent from the same month in 2012.

The median house price in Auckland was up 11 per cent from a year earlier. The median price in Canterbury increased 1.4 per cent to $365,000 in August.APNZ