Northland's booming property market has had unprecedented numbers of people turning up to open homes since daylight saving started, according to a real estate boss.
LJ Hooker Whangarei chief executive Paul Beazley said he recently had about 30 or 40 people through an open home.
"That's unheard of in Whangarei," he said. "Since daylight saving [began on September 27], we've seen quite a few people coming up from Auckland for the day," Mr Beazley said. "There's a lot of competition, particularly for the middle-of-the-range $300,000 to $400,000 properties."
"There's first-home buyers, investors and regular buyers. We've noticed an increase in genuine buyers, rather than investors who will just rent them out, which is great because it means people are moving here."
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) figures show 263 properties sold in Northland in September, five more than in August and 113 more than in September 2014. The median sale price was $338,000, up from $323,750 in August and $267,750 last September. Mr Beazley expected property prices to continue to increase gradually in coming months.
"Prices have been going up steadily in the past few months but it's still affordable to live in Whangarei. I'd say it'll continue that way. I wouldn't anticipate a dramatic price increase."
Nationally, 8174 dwellings sold in September - 38.3 per cent more than in September 2014 and 5.3 per cent up on August. The national median price was $484,650 for September, an increase of $64,650 or 15.4 per cent on September 2014, to reach a new record high. The price was 4.2 per cent higher than the previous month.
REINZ chief executive Colleen Milne said Aucklanders moving to the regions was still a prominent market trend.
"There is continued evidence of Auckland investors and first-home buyers spreading to other regions causing a 'halo' effect, most notably in Northland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty," she said.
"These regions have recorded very strong sales growth so far during 2015, and this is now starting to be seen in the median price data."
New loan-to-value ratio limits which come into effect on October 30 will mean buyers in Auckland will need a deposit of at least 30 per cent. Meanwhile, the "speed limit" for high LVR borrowing outside of Auckland will increase from 10 to 15 per cent, meaning banks will be able to give out more high-value loans to regional buyers.
Ms Milne said this would have a positive effect for first-home buyers but may add to the consequential shortage of listings in their range.