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Around Otago and Southland, the majority of median house price gains were at least double-digit.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand regional commentator Liz Nidd said median prices in Dunedin had continued their steady upward trend, with the number of properties sold having increased 16.2% from May last year, reflecting the market's strength at the moment.
"Open home attendances are still good but with fewer than expected listings coming to market, choice is again becoming limited," she said.
REINZ regional director Gail Hudson said the volume of sales for some areas around Queenstown was down, reflecting the impact of the foreign buyer ban.
The ban stops foreigners not intending to live here from buying most home types, apart from new apartments in large developments and multistorey blocks; with Singaporeans and Australians exempt because of trade agreements.
"Anecdotally, there appears to be less investors in the market," she said.
The Clutha district had a more than 30% increase in prices, rising from $190,000 a year ago to $250,000.
However, Gisborne notched up a blistering new record price increasing 54.4% from a year ago from $285,000 to $440,000, a $155,000 increase.
REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said the strong Gisborne showing meant the April to May gain of 22.9% equated to $2645 a day.
"We haven't seen price rises on this scale for a number of years now, showing just how strong regional growth is in parts of New Zealand," Ms
Around the country, median prices increased annually in 11 out of 16 regions with strong growth recorded in Southland, up 16.7%, Manawatu/Whanganui, 14.4%, Hawke's Bay, 9.3% and Otago up 8.2%.
The number of residential properties sold across New Zealand in May fell by 7.8% from the corresponding time last year, from 7876 to to 7263, although month-on-month, the number of properties sold increased by 20.1%.