Northland's residential property market was among the top four performers in the country, with median house prices going up by a whopping 21 per cent in just 11 months.

Figures released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows the median price for residential properties in Northland started at $425,000 in January last year and finished at $515,000 in November.

Only Gisborne (26 per cent) and Wellington (22.4 per cent) trumped Northland in the percentage rise over that period.

The national median price increase was 10.6 per cent, from $520,000 to $575,000.

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OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said Northland's property market was playing catch-up and although the surge was from a low base, it was still considerable.

"Whangarei and the rest of Northland still remain relatively affordable, with first-home buyers making up the bulk of new mortgage registrations in 2018.

"Overall, the region remains popular with those seeking to relocate from larger urban centres for more affordable housing options and superior lifestyle properties.

"The question is, how long will the catch-up effect last?" he said.

Nearly 54 per cent or 1233 of the 2294 residential properties over the 11-month period were sold at between $330,000 and $600,000 across Northland.

The next popular price range was between $600,000 and $800,000 with 454 sales, whereas 406 houses valued at up to $300,000 were sold.

General manager of Eves in Whangārei, Paul Beazley, said the median sale price has peaked in the past three months due to a shortage of properties and high demand.

Paul Beazley of Eves says there hasn't been a lull lately on the Whangārei property market due to demand and a shortage of houses. Photo/John Stone
Paul Beazley of Eves says there hasn't been a lull lately on the Whangārei property market due to demand and a shortage of houses. Photo/John Stone

"Whangārei's property market has been strong right through. We haven't had any period lately when it's been on a slide and that's consistent with the rest of New Zealand," he said.

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REINZ figures show 104 houses worth $1 million or more were sold, with the Far North selling the most (44), followed by Whangārei (32) and Kaipara (28).

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said 2018 had certainly been an interesting year for the real estate industry with record median prices in many parts of the country including Northland, strong sales volumes, a significant amount happening on the regulation front and just recently the foreign buyer ban and the changes to the loan-to-value ratios.

"All in all, we expect 2019 to be another good year for the industry," she said.