The residential property market in Northland is flourishing - and so are the prices.
Data published this week by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows the volume of residential property sales last month increased by 11.8 per cent on March 2014.
There were 208 house sales in the third month of the year, compared to 186 in March last year.
By district, 85 residential properties sold in Whangarei City, 34 sold in the Whangarei district, 23 in Otamatea and eastern Kaipara/Mangawhai and 23 in Kerikeri. The median price for a residential property in Northland also increased, rising 3.7 per cent to $320,500 in March from $309,000 in the corresponding month last year.
Whangarei Barfoot and Thompson branch manager Martin Dear said an influx of people to Northland had given the market a boost.
"What is happening is that there are lots of Aucklanders and people from outside of the district starting to buy. We are also starting to see investors coming from Auckland and buying lower-value homes and there are locals investing.
"Although there hasn't been a significant increase in market value, there has definitely been an increase in numbers which is the first indicator of an increase in value. There are still some very good buys out there."
Mr Dear said the market was evenly balanced between buyers and sellers.
"I still think it is an evenly weighted market because it depends, if you are talking about different types of stock, as soon as a property gets to the right price, they seem to get snapped up straight away.
"But sometimes it takes a while. When vendors come in with an expectation over market price their properties may sit around until they come down to market price."
Whangarei home owner Pete Mullenger, who was selling his property to build another was optimistic about the market.
"There's obviously the hope that it cuts down the selling time," he said. His home had been listed for three months and there had been a lot of interest.
Mr Mullenger said he was confident it would sell soon.
Chief executive officer of LJ Hooker Whangarei Paul Beazley said there had been growth across every price bracket.
He agreed while there had been an obvious increase in people coming into the area to buy, there had also been an increase in investment buyers.
"It's good for the city because it just creates a bit of activity and shows there's a bit of confidence returning to the town."
The national median house price was $475,000 - up $35,000, or 8 per cent, on last year. The national median price, excluding Auckland, remained at $350,000.