The average value of a Whangarei property has increased by more than 12 per cent over the past year and one real estate boss says the property market is busier than it's been in years.

Whangarei values were up 12.9 per cent last December on the previous one to $380,592, according to the latest statistics from Quotable Value (QV). Far North values were up 6.7 per cent to $328,687 and Kaipara values were up 7.7 per cent to $365,763.

Harcourts Whangarei owner Mike Beazley said the property market was very busy and demand was driving prices up.

"We're experiencing the best market we've had up here for a number of years."


That was still being driven, principally, by Auckland buyers heading to the provinces, he said.

"It's been quite phenomenal, the interest that we've had."

Mr Beazley said buyers were interested in homes across a range of prices. He said local trade had picked up as a result of the busy market.

Barfoot and Thompson Whangarei branch manager Martin Dear agreed there had been a good increase in sales, with sales numbers doubling in many areas. Some Aucklanders were buying quickly in Northland as they were conditioned to the Auckland market, he said.

Many properties received multiple offers at auction and their sale prices exceeded reserve prices and vendor expectations.

Mr Dear said offers from Northlanders sometimes fell short of the price out-of-towners were willing to pay, however locals were still able to find properties.

He thought Northland had traditionally been undervalued and expected values to continue increasing as long as demand continued.

Trade Me data showed the average asking price of a Northland property was $432,750 this December, up 11.4 per cent on the previous December.

Nationwide, the residential property values surged ahead in the year to December 2015, according to QV.

Residential property values increased 14.2 per cent from $488,674 in December 2014 to $558,146 in December 2015.

The average national value increased 2.9 per cent over the final three months of 2015.

Home values in the Auckland region increased 22.5 per cent year-on year. They rose 4.1 per cent over the last three months of the year but only 0.2 per cent over the final month of the year.