The Northland market has done it: the region has cracked the $900,000 threshold for housing prices putting us on top of the list for quarterly growth.
Tai Tokerau has recorded a whopping growth of 7.9
per cent compared to 4.1 per cent nationally.
The current average property value now sits at $906k at the end of February, up from $840k three months ago, according to the latest OneRoof House Price Report.
"The summer housing market has been exceedingly bright," OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said.
"Northland has caught up with the rest of the country and experienced the kind of surge that was noticeable elsewhere at the end of last year."
Vaughan said while most of the market has seen an eight per cent growth, Northland sat steadily at five per cent for a long time and saw the tail-end of that market peak in the last quarter.
Kaipara has seen the biggest hike with its average property value up 8.6 per cent to $983k.
With an average property value of $2.235m, Langs Beach is Northland's most expensive suburb.
Vaughan said demand for properties has seen the prices being pushed up at Mangawhai Heads, too, where the average property value grew by $100k.
He put the increasing demand down to Aucklanders seeking a bach at more affordable price points, with the jump in activity from multi-homeowners and investors across the region.
The rapidly improving infrastructure provided sustainable opportunities for investors who are interested in property development in the north.
Vaughan said "pockets of affordability" heightened the growth – in Kaipara especially.
Other areas, including Russell and Opononi, experienced similarly strong growth with property values rising by 10 per cent.
In the Whangārei district, wealthier suburbs such as Kauri, Waipū and Ruatangata West benefited the most from the latest market developments, with average property value sitting about $1m.
The Far North saw the lowest quarterly increase between the three districts with 7.3 per cent and an average property value of $795k.
Kaikohe is the region's cheapest town in terms of house prices with an average value of $390k.
Eves Whangārei general manager Tanya Swain said the "coast has gone crazy" these past few months.
"We've had some incredible sales. We've seen many people moving up from Auckland because they can work from home now."
Most buyers were either from Northland or Auckland.
Swain said since people were still not spending on international travel, some were looking at investing in property.
Most houses are sold through auction, according to Swain. Meanwhile, the number of sales from January to January had come down.
In the past few months, however, Swain had seen more properties being listed providing more options for interested buyers.
The market around first home buyers has quieted down a bit because they are struggling to get finance, Swain said.
First home buyers were lodging 35.6 per cent of all mortgage registrations, down from 38.5 per cent in the previous quarter.
Investors' share of mortgage registrations remained relatively stable at 21.7 per cent compared to three months prior at 21.4 per cent.
Swain's top tip for interested buyers is to engage the right people to support their purchase.
"Make sure you've got a good team around you."
That includes an advisor from the bank or a mortgage broker, a solicitor and a buying agent.
"You need to understand your borrowing power and you need to make sure you understand the current market."
Similarly, investors should seek advice from their accountants to ensure their investments are well structured.
Mortgage advisor Jo Marshall from Boost Brokers Whangārei also shared some advice for first home buyers.
"The key for first home buyers is to reduce their short-term debt and reduce their spending," Marshall said.
Short-term debt includes pay instalments with Afterpay or similar services, credit card debt or finance on cars.
Marshall said cutting down on takeaways was only one option to reduce spending: it was about understanding your own spending patterns and cutting back three months prior to lodging the finance application with the bank.
Many banks would provide services that help analyse spending habits.
"Also, putting money aside regularly, $50 or $100 a week or a fortnight, shows the bank that people have good saving patterns. Important is to not touch and spend those savings," Marshall said.
Most banks require a 20 per cent deposit for an existing build and a 10 per cent deposit for a new build.