Despite a somewhat sluggish market post-lockdown compared with other regions, Northland's median property values showed a healthy growth of more than 14 per cent to sit at $650,000.
OneRoof-Velocity figures show areas such as The Avenues, Whangārei Heads, and Kerikeri that continued to perform strongly owing in large part to out-of-town investors, particularly Aucklanders and first home buyers.
There's an appetite among locals and expats for luxury coastal homes in Whangārei Heads, with the median property value close to hitting the $1 million mark.
The area recorded growth of 10 per cent since the lockdown and the median property value sits at $920,000.
The top-performing region post-Covid lockdown was Gisborne, where the median property value rose 35 per cent on pre-Covid levels, while Otago recorded the worst performance, an increase of just 6 per cent.
The Avenues in Whangārei recorded a growth of 17.7 percent since March 25, 2020, followed by Ruakākā at 16.6 per cent, Kaikohe 15.9 per cent, and Raumanga 15.5 per cent.
However, Kerikeri with 127 sales topped the list of the number of houses sold during that period, Kamo came in second with 116, and Mangawhai Heads third with 58.
The highest settled sale price was $5.6m for a property on One Tree Point. The next highest-priced property was at Langs Beach which was sold for $5.1m, and one in Mangawhai for $4m.
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said parts of Northland have done well but the overall market has struggled since the lockdown as first home buyers and investors looked at other parts of New Zealand.
"A lack of stock has also affected the market across New Zealand and put pressure on house prices, although not to a bigger degree in Northland. But that doesn't mean Northland is a loser."
Vaughan said Northland's main centre Whangārei has not really attracted the heat as attention shifted to Hamilton, Gisborne, and Whanganui due to lower property prices.
Nationally, the demand side of the market continues to be driven by low interest rates, fear of missing out and a lack of new stock coming on to the market.
"Despite record prices being achieved in most markets around New Zealand, the dearth of new listings has put off would-be sellers, who are unwilling to list in the belief they'll be unable to buy another home in their desired price bracket."
First home buyers accounted for 38 per cent of houses sold in Northland in the last three months, investors 21 per cent and re-financers 15 per cent.
Ray White agent Daniel Foote, who sells in Whangārei Heads, said the housing market had slowed down in the lead-up to Christmas but has now started to pick up.
"There's still incredibly high demand and never enough listings, this time last year I had nearly 30 properties on my books and now I only have 10 or so," he said.
Foote said that there was increased interest in the location from Aucklanders and overseas Kiwis.
"They see it as an untouched paradise. So do expats, who are locked down overseas. I've done a number of transactions remotely now and with the new Covid variants turning up in places like the UK, some Kiwis who'd been holding on for the vaccine have decided to pack it in and come home, so I'm expecting another rush."
Buyers tended to be cashed-up, he said, with most first home buyers and investors looking elsewhere in Whangārei for affordable stock.
"You could get two houses in Whangārei for the price of one in Whangārei Heads, but I do see people buying a property here for their eventual retirement and letting it in the shorter term — and they have no trouble getting high-quality tenants."
Eves Whangārei general manager Paul Beazley said there was still an undersupply of houses because people aren't either selling because they have done well from an equity point of view.
Or, they were reluctant because they may not be able to buy in the same market, he said.
Beazley said the growth experienced in The Avenues wasn't surprising, given buyers could afford to organise mortgages around the median sale price of between $570,000 and $600,000.