Heat from Auckland's previously red-hot market is now being seen in other regions, where prices are soaring.

New figures showed house prices in the country's biggest city have settled at an estimated median value of $1.04m - zero growth across the wider region in the quarter to the end of July.

The latest QV Property Report, out today, showed the growth seen in Auckland in recent years had abated and even dropped in certain centres - albeit as detailed in the Herald on Sunday report prices remained at levels almost double what they were 10 years ago in most places.

QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said the cost of a home in main centres, like Auckland, has now priced many buyers out of the cities and they have looked to the regions as an alternative.


"Also given that properties are much more affordable in the regions, the LVR restrictions and bank lending restrictions do not impact as much in terms of a lower level of finance and deposit needed."

The "rekindled demand" in the regions had driven the growth in regional prices, she said.

The QV report showed Napier City was leading the pack among the North Island's regional areas - up $24,252 (5.7 per cent) to an estimated median of $449,717 in the three months to the end of July.

Whanganui was close on its heels, up $8814 (4 per cent) to in the same three month-period. Whangarei climbed 3.4 per cent to $494,212.

Insights: Explore house prices by suburb

Across the year to the end of July many of the regions experienced percentage growth in the double-digits.

Prices in the Hastings District rose $70,625 (20 per cent) in the last 12 months to $423,750.

Comparatively, the five Auckland regions only saw between 3.7 per cent to 6.1 per cent growth across the same year.

Auckland City saw the largest growth, up $70,990 (6.1 per cent) to $1.23m. The North Shore saw the slowest rate of growth up $42,903 (3.7 per cent) to $1.20m in the year to the end of July.


The estimated median values, collated by CoreLogic, were reached by calculating a weighted average for the suburb according to the estimated market value of each property.

Harcourts CEO Chris Kennedy said despite comments the market was slowing, he said the figures showed it had only slowed "ever so slightly".

"It's still a solid market, still going really well."

The borrowing restrictions had played a part in cooling down Auckland's prices, Kennedy said, which was reflected in the growth in value in the regional centres.

"There's a whole lot of hoops that people now have to jump through. It's all had an impact in Auckland, but there is still a ripple effect of high values running down through the country.

He used Dunedin as an example where prices had gone up.

TradeMe Head of Property Nigel Jeffries said the tighter restrictions to get a mortgage and high prices had made it harder for many to buy in the main centres.

"I think we have hit an affordability and lifestyle point where owners either cannot take on the bigger mortgage or choose not to take it on for lifestyle reasons."

The election could also be having a dampening effect in the market, Jeffries said.

"The looming uncertainty about next month's election is playing a part as buyers and sellers wait for the election results before making a move."

Despite calls to loosen the LVR as real estate sales began to drop off significantly Jeffries said the most important thing was to ensure the country had "robust and well-capitalised lenders".

"If the LVRs are what we need to achieve this then the pain it inflicts on us is worth it."

A more "granular management" of the LVR was another option that could see restrictions based more on level of risk of the lend and the overall bank portfolio risk, he said.

It was only a matter of time before the restrictions also had an affect on the regions, Jeffries said.

"From a cyclical perspective, the growth in the regions is to be expected as it normally follows growth in the main metros.

"Given the very high regional growth rates, we wouldn't expect these to be repeated for much longer as the markets will be approaching their own affordability thresholds."