The number of million-dollar plus properties sold in New Zealand rose in the first half of this year but were down in Auckland compared to the first half of last year.

Figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand show 5438 properties sold for over $1 million in the six month to June 30 - up from 5220 in the first half of 2017.

But in Auckland the number of million-dollar plus property sales fell from 4154 to 4075.

Property sales in the $3m plus and $5m plus categories were down across the country falling by 14 to 223 in the $3m plus category and were down nine to 46 in the $5m plus category.

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Bindi Norwell, REINZ chief executive, said the figures highlighted the buoyancy in the market outside of Auckland and predicted more million-dollar plus sales outside of the main centre.

"As land prices continue to hold up around the country and Aucklanders continue to take their search to the regions for a more relaxed and affordable lifestyle, it's likely we may continue to see the number of million-dollar plus properties continuing to increase in the future," Norwell said.

Wellington had the biggest increase in the number of million-dollar plus properties sold, with an extra 115 houses pushing the total to 382 sold over the first half.

Otago, Waikato and Bay of Plenty also saw sizeable increases.

Million-dollar sales increased by 49 to 232 in Otago, were up 39 to 177 in the Waikato and rose by 37 properties to 213 in the Bay of Plenty.

Outside of Auckland sales dropped in Tasman and Southland. The West Coast is the only region not have sold a residential property over $1m.