Out-of-towners entering the local housing market have seen the number of Northland house sales jump, a local agent says.

Prices have also edged higher.

Aucklanders moving north and expats returning from Australia were some of the buyers contributing to high sales figures, said Whangarei Barfoot and Thompson branch manager Martin Dear.

The Government has just unveiled changes to the KiwiSaver and Welcome Home schemes designed to help more Kiwis into homes, but Mr Dear said many recent Northland buyers did not fit into the first-home-buyer category, with numerous sales in the "upper amounts".


"I think affordability in this area is great, but I don't think we're getting a huge lot of younger people coming into the area because there's just not the work."

New house sale figures released on Monday by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand show July produced a bumper month of sales in Northland and across New Zealand.

Northland sales increased to 172, up from 157 in June, with the median price across the region climbing by $5700 to $298,700.

The REINZ noted Northland had some of the strongest volume growth in New Zealand, with July sales showing a 23.7 per cent increase compared to July 2012.

Chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said it was the most active winter the residential real estate market had seen for a while, with the volume of sales higher than would normally be expected for this time of year.

"Reports from agents around the country suggest that first-home buyers are moving quickly to secure properties ahead of any move by the Reserve Bank to impose lending restrictions on buyers with lower deposits."

However, Mr Dear said he saw no evidence to support that on a local level.

"I don't know if it will have such a profound effect as it will in the higher-value areas."