Aucklanders "with money in their pockets" are buying up properties in Northland's most expensive area, a Whangarei real estate agent says.

The latest QV New Zealand Herald Property Report shows the average house sale price in the Whangarei district rose 1 per cent in the three months to April to $338,647.

The cheapest area to buy a house across the Northland region for the quarter ending March 31 was Kaitaia with a median house price of $138,800, while the most expensive area was One Tree Point at $441,500.

Whangarei Barfoot and Thompson branch manager Martin Dear said Aucklanders were "coming north with money in their pockets".


"That area seems to suit them. It seems to be really going ahead."

Houses at One Tree Point were typically new with three bedrooms, two lounges, and a double garage, he said.

Kaitaia listings on show a range of two or three-bedroom houses for the QV median price, mostly weatherboard with older fittings, and a garage or carport.

According to the report, the country's most expensive suburbs were mostly in Auckland, with average prices ranging between $600,000 and $1.5million for a property on the city-centre fringe.

Affordable housing is shaping up to be a key election issue as political parties compete to offer the best way to increase housing stock.

The Government is freeing up land for development under its Auckland Housing Accord and also lifted some tariffs on building materials in this year's Budget.

Labour has vowed to build 10,000 new homes a year for a decade under its KiwiBuild plan and proposes compulsory KiwiSaver and tighter immigration policies.

Last month Labour leader David Cunliffe accused Prime Minister John Key of being "in denial" about a housing crisis after the OECD's latest Economic Outlook report said New Zealand house prices were among the most overvalued in the developed world.

Political commentator and Otago University lecturer Dr Bryce Edwards said the home affordability debate favoured opposition parties over a government perceived to be doing nothing about the problem.

In contrast to soaring Auckland values, most regional values remain well down on their worth from the 2007-08 market peak - sparking claims provincial New Zealand has been unfairly targeted by the Reserve Bank's lending restrictions.