March recorded the highest number of sales in a single month since May 2007, the Real Estate Institute says.
And the national median house price lifted by $30,000 to match.
That seems to indicate that Quotable Value statistics released earlier this week showing a slowdown in the market were not the sign of a trend emerging.
The institute's statistics are more up-to-date as they are compiled from unconditional property agreements.
Auckland and Canterbury set new record house prices of $562,000 and $359,000 respectively.
And Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O’Sullivan said the heat in the Auckland and Canterbury markets could be skewing perceptions of the overall housing market.
"Analysis by REINZ shows that 90% of the increase in the median price between March 2012 and March 2013 of $30,000 came from just two regions, Auckland and Canterbury/Westland. Together these two regions represent 52% of national house sales, indicating that the remaining 10% of the increase came from the remaining 10 regions which cover 84% of New Zealand geographically."
She said there was a danger that the Auckland housing market was being mistaken for the New Zealand housing market, and that could lead to regulatory decisions that would adversely affect the rest of the country.
“Across the rest of the country while activity is picking up, price gains are far more modest... five regions, representing 24% of sales in March recorded annual price increases of less than 1%.”
There were 8128 unconditional residential sales in March, an increase of 798 sales, compared with the same time last year.
The increase over February on a seasonally adjusted basis was 3.6%, indicating that sales were stronger than what would normally be expected for this time of the year.
All but three regions recorded increases in sales volume compared to March last year, with Northland recording an increase of 42.8%, followed by Auckland with 17.9% and Waikato/Bay of Plenty with 15.3%.
The national median house price rose by $18,000 (+4.7%), from $382,000 in February, to $400,000 in March to reach a new record high.
Auckland and Canterbury/Westland both recorded new record highs in March, with Auckland’s median price increasing by $27,000 (+5.0%) to $565,000 and Canterbury/Westland’s median price increasing by $4,000 (+1.1%) to $359,000.
Compared to March 2012 the national median house price increased by $30,000 (+8.1%).
Houses took eight days fewer to sell in March 2013, compared to February, improving from 39 days in February to 31 days in March. Compared to March 2012, the number of days to sell improved by four days.