Auckland's best performing markets in the last three months included a raft of million dollar suburbs, yet it was humble Wellsford in the north that topped them all.
Seven of the 10 Auckland suburbs with the highest jump in house values between April 1 and July 31 had median prices above $1 million, new One Roof Property Report data showed.
Yet it was the Auckland region's cheapest town or suburb, Wellsford, with a median price of $536,600, that proved the pick of the bunch as its home values jumped 3.4 per cent.
Chatswood in the North Shore was the next best performer with a 2.8 per cent jump in values to a median price of $1,262,350. It was followed by fellow northern suburb Windsor Park where values climbed 2.3 per cent to $1,198,800.
Elsewhere, the outlook was not so rosy for northern suburbs as they accounted for five of Auckland's 10 worst-performing markets.
This included Forrest Hill, which took the city's biggest dive, with a 5 per cent drop in values to a median price of $1,177,950 and neighbouring Sunnynook where values fell 3.9 per cent.
Northern retirement hotspots, Omaha, Manly and Red Beach, also made it into Auckland's biggest losers list.
Auckland's richest residents were the other notable losers as seven of the city's 10 most expensive suburbs fell in value during the quarter.
With Auckland's suburbs producing a mixed bag of results, Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson said buyers could not simply count on house prices rising across the board as they had in the past decade.
Buyers instead had to pick their areas carefully.
"It's back to real estate of old. It's all the suburbs that have been moving [in price]," he told One Roof.
His comments come as prices fell in more than half of the Auckland region's 167 suburbs during the last quarter.
Just 21 suburbs posted price gains of 1 per cent or more, while another 38 suburbs either gained marginally or held their value.
Despite the long slowdown in Auckland prices that has now stretched almost two years, Thompson predicted the market would hold steady into 2019 because houses were still being sold at steady rates.
"In the first six months of this year - for Barfoot & Thompson - we've seen each week the number of sales made just slightly up on the corresponding week of last year and the sale price has gone up less than half a per cent over 12 months," he said.
Nick Goodall, the head of research for analysts CoreLogic NZ, predicted a gradual drop in prices but said it wasn't "time to panic".
New Zealand was now in the middle of one of its strongest residential building phases on record based on the number of consents granted, yet it was unclear how many of these would result in new homes on the ground, he said.
This was because the building industry was already operating at capacity and because some major construction firms had gone into liquidation, calling into doubt how quickly new projects could be completed.
On a positive note for buyer activity, interest rates remained low and the outlook was for them to "stay low for longer".
Offsetting that was expectations GDP growth was slowing and low confidence levels among business owners, Goodall said.
Thompson said his biggest concern was whether home buyers were starting to take on mortgages too big for their incomes.
"For first home buyers I always say: 'Buy in the area you can afford today, not where you really want to be, but where you can actually afford'," he said.
However, ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said Reserve Bank data had not as yet shown evidence of Kiwis getting into trouble paying their mortgages.
"Debt servicing costs as a of share on income are at a pretty average level, so on aggregate there is no obvious sign of any debt servicing stress," he said.
Away from Auckland, cities and towns close Wellington continue to be among the country's best performing markets.
Bulls, near Palmerston North and about two hours north of Wellington City, experienced the biggest jump in value in the country with median prices up 8.5 per cent.
Shannon and Dannevirke, also near Palmerston North, were the nation's next best performers with 6.9 per cent and 6.6 per cent hikes, respectively.
Palmerston North experienced a 2.9 per cent growth in value, while prices in the Wellington region as a whole grew 1.5 per cent.
Whangarei District and Napier City were standout performers, growing 3.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent, respectively.
Invercargill suburb Grasmere was the South Island's biggest gainer as prices jumped 5.7 per cent to a median of $257,850.
Dunedin and the Queenstown Lakes District were the South Island's other strong performers with strong price rises over the quarter.