Auckland house prices have made their biggest quarterly jump in two years as the property market's resurgence gains speed, new data shows.
Average values have now hit $1.047 million, while analysts CoreLogic and QV's latest House Price Index jumped 1.9 per cent in three months.
Not since September 2017 has the house price index jumped so much in a quarter as it rode a boost in expensive house sales in the inner city and North Shore.
Nationally, the house price index also made its biggest leap in three years with prices jumping 2.7 per cent over the last three months.
QV general manager David Nagel said sellers should be smiling because everyone was now looking to get a piece of the action.
Investors had regained confidence and were buying again, first-home buyers were hanging in there because they didn't see prices falling and even existing homeowners were looking at potentially upgrading, he said.
"This means we have multiple buyers looking to purchase a limited number of properties, particularly at the less expensive end of the market," he said.
The price jump makes for a swift recovery after Auckland prices had earlier been on an 18-month slide and the past winter of discontent was one of the quietest in recent years in terms of sales.
Auckland's price jump had been so strong, values were now almost back to the same levels as December 2018, effectively wiping out any losses incurred in 2019's early year slump, CoreLogic head of research Nick Goodall said.
He and Nagel also tipped further price gains in the coming months.
This was due to Auckland still not having enough houses to meet demand, the economy being "solid if unspectacular", continued migration into the city and low unemployment.
Historically low mortgage interest rates had Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens tipping Auckland prices to jump by up to 5 per cent.
Owen Vaughan, editor of property website OneRoof, said the nervousness that played a "big factor" in house prices in 2019 on the back of doubts about a capital gains tax and foreign buyer ban had now gone.
"The last round of auctions of 2019 saw a return to intense bidding," he said.
"Notably, there has been a firming up of values at the upper end of the market, with many homes in Auckland's higher price bracket selling well above CV - a reversal of the situation that many vendors saw in the first half of the year."
Prices in Auckland's upmarket eastern suburbs had last year taken a dive. But Real Estate Institute of NZ chief executive Bindi Norwell cited November data as showing many recovering strongly.
"This has been particularly prevalent in Kohimarama, where median prices increased 47.5 per cent when compared to the same time last year and Meadowbank increasing 33.7 per cent year-on-year," she said.
"The number of million dollar-plus properties now made up more than half of the city's sales - 52.7 per cent compared to 46.8 per cent last year."
The Rob Report prepared by Bayleys real estate agent Robert Ashton showed sales and prices were up in Parnell and Remuera last November.
The report found 62 homes sold in the suburbs at a median price of $1.8m in November compared to 47 homes selling for a median price of $1.72m in the same month a year earlier.
The homes typically sold at the same price as their council valuations, but some were selling for much higher prices.
An apartment at 450A Remuera Rd sold for the highest price in November at $6.75m or $1.75m above its CV, according to the report.
A five-bedroom Remuera mansion at 22 Bassett Rd with its own lap pool was the next highest seller at $6.27m, or $1.27m above CV.
The sale of higher valued homes indicated so called movers - those looking to sell and upgrade to a larger home - were returning to the market, pundits said.
QV's Nagel also said reports were coming through from mortgage brokers and financial experts that existing homeowners were increasingly looking to take out new mortgages so they could buy an extra investment property.
However, the news was not all good.
First-home buyers would be dreading any further jump in values. After a decade of skyrocketing house prices earlier locked them out of the market, they spent 2019 finally getting their feet on the property ladder.
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And while national prices continue to steam along, CoreLogic's Goodall warned the steam might finally be coming out of property markets in the smaller cities where "the perception of value is starting to wane".
"The reduction in mortgage serviceability rates in the second half of the year has prolonged the growth phases for these centres, however without continued growth in population and jobs and incomes future growth will be limited," he said.
Another speed hump could come from New Zealand's general election - to be held no later than November 21.
"The property market hates uncertainty and with a general election looming later this year and no clear outcome on the horizon, housing policy will be key as we head towards the final quarter of 2020," QV's Nagel said.