Auckland house prices surged 13 per cent annually and are up $83,000, from $637,000 last March to $720,000 last month.

Real Estate Institute figures just out for the busiest month of the year showed Auckland's strength drove the New Zealand-wide market up fast too: the national March median was $475,000, up $35,000 or 8 per cent compared to March last year and an increase of $45,000 or 10.5 per cent from February 2015.

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But taking Auckland out of the mix led to a far less spectacular national result.


"Excluding the impact of the Auckland region, the national median price was flat compared to February at $350,000 and $5000 (+1.4 per cent) higher compared to March 2014," REINZ said.

Colleen Milne, REINZ chief executive, explained.

"March is the strongest sales month of the year, with almost 1400 more sales than for any of the past 12 months. While the increase in the number of sales is more or less spread across the country, the movement in the national median price is almost entirely an Auckland effect," she said.

Colleen Milne, REINZ chief executive.
Colleen Milne, REINZ chief executive.

"Auckland has posted a record number of auction sales in March, with almost one in two sales by auction. Our data shows that on a suburb-by-suburb basis auctions sell for a premium compared to other sales. We also see in the data a noticeable spike in the number of sales over $1 million in Auckland. These two effects explain, at least in part, the jump in the national median and Auckland median prices for March - although the underlying demand pressures remain and supply continues to be restrained by low numbers of new listings."

"Across the rest of the country, sales volumes and median prices are far better balanced, with a number of regions reporting good sales numbers, good listings and plenty of activity. The national median price, excluding Auckland, has remained at $350,000 for the past two months, indicating that supply and demand are far more balanced outside of Auckland," she said.

See more details from REINZ here, including a regional breakdown: