Property prices in Northland are rising faster than in Auckland, with the average house price in the region reaching a record high, and experts predicting they will soar further.
The Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) sales figures for June show the average sale price for a Northland home was $360,000 - the highest average ever and a rise of $45,000 - up 14.3 per cent - compared with June 2015, with Whangarei Heads, Waipu, Paihia and Tutukaka the most sought after areas.
REINZ Northland spokesman Bryan Thomson said with Auckland's average rising 8.5 per cent, Northland's property market was rising faster than the country's largest city.
Mr Thomson said five regions - Northland, Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Otago and Central Otago Lakes - hit new record high median sale prices, while the national median price rose slightly (1 per cent) from $500,000 to $506,000 last month.
"Although the onset of winter means that June is generally a quieter month for the real estate market, there has been no let-up in the rate of price increases across the country," he added.
"Although there is much discussion about the housing market and increasing new build supply, the fact remains that the vast majority of the supply comes from the sale of existing properties.
"While Auckland continues to be the largest single region, its influence on the national picture is waning due to its own weaker sales and strong growth in sales in other regions, particularly Waikato/Bay of Plenty and Northland."
In Northland for June, compared with the same month in 2015, Mr Thompson said prices increased by 26 per cent in Whangarei, 23 per cent in Whangarei County and 15 per cent in Otamatea County (which includes Mangawhai and Kaiwaka).
"Sales volumes continue to rise strongly, with volume up 20 per cent (with 305 properties sold in the month) compared to June 2015 (255 sold), with a 122 per cent increase in Otamatea County (40 sales) and 12 per cent in Whangarei City (116 sales)," Mr Thompson said.
"Although the rate of sales growth is easing, the underlying trend remains firmly upward, with increasing demand in the Whangarei area and an ever tightening level of listings."
He said the average number of days to sell a property in Northland had also dropped - from 62 days in June 2015 to 42 days this June.
The hot spots for property sales in Northland are Whangarei Heads, Waipu, Paihia and Tutukaka which had a significant increase in users looking in those areas in June, realestate.co.nz CEO Brendon Skipper said.
"Nationally, the volume of traffic to our site is comparable across the country for this time of year, but it appears buyers are moving away from looking in the Auckland area in favour of other regions," Mr Skipper said.
"It appears Aucklanders still want to stay in relatively close proximity to our biggest city, but in terms of affordability they are forced to move even further afield, or they are making lifestyle changes. Whangarei Heads is the suburb to watch, with online engagement up by 42 per cent on the same time last year. In the Far North, Kerikeri surrounds, Paihia and the Karikari Peninsula were the most searched."
Mr Skipper said this was significant because June is traditionally a quiet time of the year.
"The message seems to be getting through that with the shortage of listings and the speed in which properties are selling, it's a sellers' market. While there is still a shortage of listings this is a positive sign for getting more equilibrium in the marketplace."