Mission Bay has topped a latest 'property hot spots' list, with a doubling in median price over the last 18 months to $2,158,000.

Barfoot & Thompson's list of Auckland's 'top 20' suburbs is based on greatest percentage value growth, comparing median sale prices for the six months between February and July 2016 with the same period last year.

Barfoot & Thompson Managing Director Peter Thompson says there has been a rise in the number of outer suburbs on the list, including Mangawhai Heads and Orewa in the north, and Weymouth, Waiuku and Tuakau to the south.

"Buyers have been attracted to these areas by their more affordable pricing and lifestyle aspects, while still being within a commutable distance to Auckland business centres like the North Shore and Manukau."

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In second place is Mangawhai Heads (up 56 percent to $655,000), while central suburbs Grey Lynn (up 48 percent to $1,497,500), One Tree Hill (up 40 percent to $1,269,000) and Royal Oak (up 36 percent to $1,140,000) round out the top five.

Thompson says the lists, released every six months, are helpful in identifying price trends across the region, as well as at a suburb-by-suburb level.

"The lists can help sellers identify where demand is strong, and can help buyers better judge value for money."

The latest list indicates Grey Lynn is experiencing another round of value growth, having moved from near the bottom of the previous list to the number three spot this time around.

"Development of nearby schools, residential blocks and entertainment precincts in the area is contributing to the price growth in this already popular neighbourhood."

Meanwhile many previously top performing suburbs dropped out of the top 20.

Suburb spotlight - Mission Bay

Exceptional value growth in the coastal city suburb of Mission Bay is a reflection of demand and an increasing number of high-value sales during the recent period.

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"Mission Bay's ideal location and mix of city and coastal lifestyles make it a very desirable and high-end suburb. We've seen this demand push prices up across the board, and have also been involved in a greater number of high-value, multi-million dollar property sales," says Andy MacDonald, Barfoot & Thompson Mission Bay branch manager.

During the February to July period, half of the 20 homes sold in Mission Bay by Barfoot & Thompson were over $2 million (versus just five of 26 in the comparative six month period in 2015).

Suburb spotlight - Mangawhai Heads

Mangawhai branch manager Saull Hinton says the Mangawhai Heads area is being discovered by both baby-boomers looking for a lifestyle change and young people looking for a foothold in the market.

"There appear to be two distinct groups of buyers - those cashing out of Auckland to escape the traffic and enjoy a greater sense of community, and first-timers attracted by the affordability and growth potential here."

He said while some young people were settling in the area, many were also choosing to commute to the city or, were using their purchase as a stepping stone investment.

Suburb spotlight - Tuakau

The town of Tuakau on the very fringes of Auckland is benefiting from the city's 'halo effect' as well as a surge in development in the area, says local Barfoot & Thompson branch manager Nick Bates.

"Tuakau has long represented value for money and more people are taking notice of what it has to offer.

"It's a more rural location that provides a peaceful, community lifestyle, but also the ability to commute to Manukau or the city."

He said increasing development in Tuakau and in the surrounding centres of Pokeno and Pukekohe were also making the area more desirable.

Top 20 Auckland Hotspots

1. Mission Bay

2. Mangawhai Heads

3. Grey Lynn

4. One Tree Hill

5. Royal Oak

6. Orewa

7. Manukau Central

8. Browns Bay

9. Belmont

10. Bucklands Beach

11. Sunnyvale

12. Tuakau

13. Greenlane

14. Waiuku

15. West Harbour

16. Albany

17. Dannemora

18. Weymouth

19. Otahuhu

20. Royal Heights