New Zealand house values continue to soar but the booming market is no longer being propped up by property powerhouses Auckland and Christchurch.
Latest figures from Government property valuer Quotable Value (QV) released today show house values rising 6.2 per cent over the last year and 1.5 per cent over the past quarter.
With the average value sitting at $426,452, values are 2.6 higher than they were during the previous market peak in late 2007, thanks largely to supply outstripping demand in the two biggest cities.
Auckland's rampant property market shows no signs of abating, with values up 3 per cent in the last three months and 10.2 per cent over the past year.
Old Auckland City and North Shore continue to have the steepest increases over the past 12 months, up 11.1 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively, with Manukau and Waitakere close behind, up 9.7 per cent and 9.2 per cent respectively.
Values in the wider Auckland area were now 12.4 per cent above the previous 2007 peak, led by Old Auckland City at 15.9 per cent above the 2007 peak.
Since thousands of Christchurch houses have been ruled uninhabitable due to earthquake damage, the post-disaster property market is also skyrocketing - with values up 7.1 per cent over the last year and 2.4 per cent over the past three months.
But the new figures show that the rest of the country is catching up.
Steady climbs over the last quarter in Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Dunedin show confidence is spreading, says QV.co.nz research director, Jonno Ingerson.
"The increase in nationwide values is no longer solely being driven by Auckland and Canterbury," he said.
"Over the last month or two, values have also begun rising again in most of the other main cities and provincial centres."
Even with the holiday season and bumper summer weather, estate agents have reported a relatively strong start to the year, carrying on from a late 2012 rise in buyer activity.
With prices at record highs, the number of properties currently for sale had dropped to "very low levels".
Mr Ingerson said reduced buyer choice meant that well-presented properties are being snapped up quickly.
"The overall result is upward pressure on prices," he said.
While sales of luxury central Auckland properties over $2 million were stabilising, with many selling after auction, properties under $1 million were still sought after.
Areas like New Lynn, Titirangi and Te Atatu were in good demand, with subdivisions in Henderson, Swanson and Massey also surging ahead, according to QV operations manager Kerry Stewart.
And despite the buoyancy, there were still a lot of first home buyers going head to head with investors to try and get a foothold in both the Auckland and Christchurch markets.
Daryl Taggart, a QV valuer, said interest in the Christchurch areas unaffected by ground-shaking, as well as its outlying regions, was strong at both the lower and top ends of the market.